Friday, November 2, 2018

Secret Passages in a Hillside Town by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen

4 Star

In a small hillside town, Olli Suominen - publisher and discontented husband - is constantly losing umbrellas. He has also joined a film club. And Greta, an old flame, has added him on Facebook.

As his life becomes more and more entangled with Greta's and his wife and son are dragged into the aftermath of this teenage romance, Olli is forced to make a choice. But does he really want to know what the secret passages are? Can he be sure that Greta is who she seems to be? And what actually happened on that summer's day long ago?

Kathryn - 4 Star

Translated from the original language I was taken on twisty journey through the life and mind of Olli. 

Olli is a father and husband, works in publishing, likes films and is always losing umbrellas.  This is what I gathered in the first few pages of this novel.  

It was quickly apparent though that I was going to be taken to places unknown and have only an ounce of an idea what was going on at any given moment.  Sure that I knew what was happening one minute quickly changed on the next page until I wasn't sure what was real and what was in the imaginations of this man.   I falsely hoped that the introduction of Greta would make some sense of things but she only served to twist the plot into new directions until I was lost.

The novel is funny, quirky and fascinating.  I actually thought a few times about putting it down but I just couldn't. 

If you're looking for something to make you question what you've read- this is it.  It was fantastically confusing and I'm still not sure I've slotted the plot into tidy boxes at the end.  Perhaps I shouldn't even try?

Thank you to Pushkin Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen: 
Website     Goodreads    

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