Philip Teir: Vinterkrig. En äktenskapsroman [The winter war. A marriage novel]
Vinterkrig. En äktenskapsroman
[Winter war. A marriage novel]
Helsingfors: Schildts & Söderströms, 2013. 326 p.
Suom. (Translated by): Jaana Nikula
Helsinki: Otava, 2013. 347 p.
This first novel by Philip Teir (born 1980) brings to mind a stereotype of the Finland-Swedish minority: pleasant, controlled, civilised and rather amusing. Teir has previously written short stories, and no doubt his work as a cultural journalist has sharpened his detailed perceptions of society and life in general. Hence, the result is controlled and rather amusing. In the focus are sociologist Max and personnel manager Katarina, who have in their long marriage become alienated from each other. Two grown-up daughters have problems of their own, as a working mother of small children, and as an arts student trying to find a direction for her life. Teir’s characters look for ways to solve their problems: Max seeks the company of a younger woman, whereas the more straightforward Katarina applies for a divorce. Yet, amidst confusion, Teir seems to place his trust in a traditional safety net, represented in the novel by the family and the community. The portrait of a middle-class, academic family with rather ordinary problems is ironically gentle: a pleasant reading experience.
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