Laura Lähteenmäki: Aleksandra Suuri [Alexandra the Great]

1 February 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Aleksandra Suuri
[Alexandra the Great]
Helsinki: Tammi, 2010. 180 p.
ISBN 978-951-0-36522-9
€18, hardback

Laura Lähteenmäki’s novel for young people is a rare, rollicking tale of independence whose treatment of even heavy topics is guaranteed to make readers laugh, sometimes through their tears. Tim, a Dutch exchange student, shakes things up in 16-year-old Alexandra’s family when he comes to stay. She is used to being the centre of attention in her family and circle of friends, but self-confident Tim brings Alexandra’s status into question. As in her previous novels for young people, Laura Lähteenmäki presents a briskly paced drama of interpersonal relationships. Events are filtered through Alexandra’s eyes as the first-person narrator. Readers can easily get behind her point of view: Tim is truly a jerk. The portrayal of complex family relationships following a traumatic divorce makes this book worthwhile reading for adults as well, even if Lähteenmäki does resort to somewhat clichéd solutions in her portrayal of minor adult characters.
Translated by Ruth Urbom


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