Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen: Valoa valoa valoa [Light light light]

13 January 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Valoa valoa valoaValoa valoa valoa
[Light light light]
Hämeenlinna: Karisto, 2011. 125 p.
ISBN 978-951-23-5433-7
€ 19.95, paperback

Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen’s novel for young adults demonstrates the author’s familiarity with classic books for girls, her skill in plotting, and, above all, her respect for youth on its own, unique terms. The novel is set in the summer and autumn of 1986. A nuclear explosion occurs at Chernobyl, Ukraine, in spring, and the fall-out worries 14-year old Mariia, who lives on the outskirts of Turku. She befriends Mimi, who has a dark secret in the attic. The friendship between the two girls soon deepens into love, and is described by Huotarinen (born 1977) beautifully and openly. Huotarinen’s language is colloquial, but nevertheless highly lyrical. Valoa valoa valoa promises a revival in the Finnish novel for young adults; it does not wallow in youthful angst or ‘issues’, although the story touches on these things, too. Self-conscious narration, metafiction, adds another intriguing twist to the story.
Translated by Fleur Jeremiah and Emily Jeremiah



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