Heather's Reviews > We Sinners

We Sinners by Hanna Pylväinen
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Jun 27, 12

Read from June 22 to 26, 2012

"He was magnetic, that was the word. He was the kind of person who walked down the street and you didn't want to like him but you had to. You wanted to be close to him, for the same reason you went to museums or sat on beaches, simply to be done staring at the ugly things, to put them from your mind for an afternoon or an evening. It was why no one had crushes on her. She was the reminder of how hard the world was; it was in her face, the unfairness of life."

Hanna Pylvainen, author of We Sinners, reminds me of early Ellen Gilchrist. This is a good thing. Gilchrist won the 1984 National Book Award for her collection of stories, Victory over Japan and has written some of my favorite southern stories. Pylvainen's debut could be the start of something similar.

Her novel is a slight but smart series of perspectives of the eleven member Rovaniemi family who practice and preach Laestadianism, a form of Lutheranism "where everyone is much more hung up on being Lutheran than all the other normal Lutherans". Reading the book is like flipping through their family album and seeing snapshots of the camera ready moments, but then finding an envelope with the other moments, the real moments. We see a glimpse of each character as they confront their own "sins" and struggle with their faith or lack thereof. These sins and struggles are something every parent, child, husband, wife, sister, brother, lover, teenager encounters, regardless of their particular faith or upbringing. This is heartfelt, painful and resonating writing at it's best.


This was a goodreads giveaway.
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Reading Progress

06/23/2012 page 28
13.0%
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Heather I still reflecting on the characters in this book. Obviously want more of their stories. I upped the rating because of this.


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