Laura Lähteenmäki: North End: Niskaan putoava taivas [North End: Falling Sky]

24 January 2013 | Mini reviews, Reviews

North End: Niskaan putoava taivas
[North End: Falling Sky]
Helsinki: WSOY, 2012. 258 pp.
ISBN 978-951-0-38598-2
€27.90, hardback

The global success of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy has spurred a boom in dystopian stories in Finland as well. The core themes of independence and friendship familiar from Lähteenmäki’s previous works are also present in this story about the impending end of the world. North End is set in the near future, around 50 years from now. This is hinted at by a reference to Victoria, queen of Sweden (currently a young princess), as a senior citizen. Recycling is a necessary part of daily life, and devices similar to exercise bikes are used to generate electricity at night. Widespread scarcity has forced people to become watchful of others, for good and bad. Tekla, a 14-year-old girl, has moved to North End with her family and is still looking to make new friends. Everyday life is thrown into disarray for Tekla and her younger brother when their separated parents get their custody weeks muddled up, and the children are left to fend for themselves. After the initial rush of freedom, the responsibility begins to frighten the siblings. Relationships and parenthood are put under the microscope on many occasions in this work, which will eventually grow into a trilogy.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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