Sisu’s Winter War

By (author): Liisa Kovala

When memories threaten to disappear, past promises must be confronted.

Meri Saari made a promise to her dying mother she would keep the family together, but she was too young to know how a war can pull people apart. As a teenager responsible for her siblings she finds herself following her father to the front lines during the Winter War when he goes missing in action. Forty years later, living in northern Ontario, Meri’s past and present collide when she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Responsible for her granddaughter, and navigating a strained relationship with her daughter Linnea, Meri is haunted by the people of her past and by the promises she failed to keep. As she struggles against her inevitable decline, she knows her losses are amassing: her home, her health, and her memories. Meri embarks on one last journey in search of the man she had to give up, and before it’s too late. Before everything disappears.

AUTHOR

Liisa Kovala

Liisa Kovala is a Finnish Canadian author and teacher. Her first book, Surviving Stutthof: My Father’s Memories Behind the Death Gate (Latitude 46, 2017), was shortlisted for a Northern Lit Award and published in Finland under the title Stutthofin selviytyjä (Docendo, 2020). Her work is inspired by her Finnish heritage and the northern landscape she calls home. Sisu’s Winter War is her debut novel. She lives in Sudbury, Ontario with her husband and two children.


Reviews

Sisu’s Winter War is a rich and sensitive story of love and connection in times of war and separation.

Marion Agnew, author of Reverberations: A Daughter’s Meditations on Alzheimer’s

With the universal themes of love, family, and sacrifice, and the sustained courage and resilience (sisu) that Meri displays in the wake of secrets, betrayal, danger, and loss, Sisu’s Winter War is a very compelling and satisfying read.

Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli, award-winning author of La Brigantessa and Pigeon Soup & Other Stories

Love and memory dance together through the novel, and readers will quickly find themselves falling in love with Meri’s tenacity and spirited nature

Kim Fahner, author of These Wings and Emptying the Ocean

Liisa Kovala writes with tenderness and humanity, evoking the past as a complicated, treasured thing

Jacqueline Baker, author of The Horseman’s Grave

Liisa Kovala’s debut novel had a lot to teach me. . . A really worthwhile read.

Kerry Clare, author of Mitzi Bytes and Waiting for a Star to Fall


Awards

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Excerpts & Samples ×

When memories threaten to disappear, past promises must be confronted.

Meri Saari made a promise to her dying mother she would keep the family together, but she was too young to know how a war can pull people apart. As a teenager responsible for her siblings she finds herself following her father to the front lines during the Winter War when he goes missing in action. Forty years later, living in northern Ontario, Meri’s past and present collide when she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Responsible for her granddaughter, and navigating a strained relationship with her daughter Linnea, Meri is haunted by the people of her past and by the promises she failed to keep. As she struggles against her inevitable decline, she knows her losses are amassing: her home, her health, and her memories. Meri embarks on one last journey in search of the man she had to give up, and before it’s too late. Before everything disappears.

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

350 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 1in
1lb

Published:

October 02, 2022

Country of Publication:

CA

ISBN:

9781988989471

Book Subjects:

FICTION / Historical / General

Language:

eng

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