Ahoy there me mateys!
memory of water (Emmi Itaranta)
I don’t know about you, but I am always up for reading sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novels written by non-American writers. The problem? I can only read English translations because I am horrible at foreign languages. Cannot conjugate verbs to save me life. Sucks. So usually I only get to read Canadians, Australians, or British novels. Not that they make it over the great pond often but that’s a whole nother story.
So somewhere I learned about this novel written by a Finnish author who writes in both English and Finnish. And it sounded awesome and it has been on my radar for quite a while. So I finally got a copy of this novel and yes it was awesome.
The main character, Noria, is fantastic. The world does not have enough fresh water for its population and what it does have is strictly controlled by the military. Noria’s world is changing. Her father is in control of a spring the military does not control and they have come to Noria’s village. Noria is left to deal with the consequences.
How she deals with it is part of the beauty of the novel. Add in lyrical stirring language. Simply lovely. The plot is not fast paced but is thoughtful and well written. The friendship between Noria and her best friend Sanja is sweet and was a highlight for me. They have a subplot that was intriguing. The novel does end with a twist but one that makes the story more poignant. I loved every moment of reading it. The author apparently has a new novel coming out in May 2016. It is called the weaver. I will be reading a copy when I can.
From the back of the novel:
Global warming has changed the world’s geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria’s father tends, which once provided water for her whole village.
But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father’s death the army starts watching their town—and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship.
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