A night, an entire life
An elderly woman tells us her life story. An internal monologue that grows into an anatomy of time.
How her father made her a daughter of the White Finland. How her husband – the Colonel – made her a Nazi, fraternizing with the right-wing elite, travelling the world.
It is about Finland, a nation preparing for war while precariously inhabiting the space between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. It is opening old wounds and makes the stench of history inescapable.
A young woman falling in love with her father’s friend, a man 30 years her senior. A strong, head over heels infatuation that turn into a violent and destructive marriage – despite the future mother-in-law’s warning about her son’s temper.
The Colonel’s wife outlives her husband and studies to become a teacher. She finds love again – in a young student – who after some time lets her know that he wishes to have children, a family. Since that time is long since passed for her she lets him go. He continues to care for her
This is a novel about going through a hellscape and surviving, finding peace late in life on the other end.
At a mere 190 pages Rosa Liksom manages to tell of us about controversies the Finnish and European history. She also tells the life story of a very strong woman and once again excels in her ability to conjure up an entire human destiny with carefully chosen brushstrokes.
“A Five-star novel. […] Stories of relationship hell are nothing new, but The Colonel’s Wife isn’t just about marriage. It’s an attempt to understand the historic period from whence the colonel’s wife’s blind love, and the colonel’s sick love, draws its strength and destructiveness.
In The Colonel’s Wife, Liksom examines the rise of fascism in Finland and Europe in the early 20th century, the coming of war, and the Finnish Whites’ fierce belief in Nazi Germany and its alliance with Finland, at an individual level.”
“As a contrast to the horrors, Liksom’s language blooms more beautiful than ever.”
“Liksom pulls in the reader with her unique style. There is no other like her. She answers well to her own statement, that literature is not only supposed to entertain but to deal with the basic questions of humanity.”
Danish rights sold
German rights sold to Penguin Verlag
World English rights sold to Graywolf Press
French rights sold to Gallimard
Estonian rights sold to Koolibri
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