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Sisu's Winter War

Sisu's Winter War


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Fiction | History

Pubdate: October 02, 2022

5 x 8.5 in | 352 pgs

Trade Paperback: 9781988989471 

e-pub: 9781988989488

Set in twentieth-century Finland and Canada, Sisu’s Winter War is a rich and sensitive story of love and connection in times of war and separation. Through decades, Meri Saari Kotila and her family show courage and grace as they live with painful memories – and learn to let them go.

—Marion Agnew author Reverberations: A Daughter's Meditations on Alzheimer's


Promises made over fifty years earlier have their reckoning.

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.

About the Author

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.

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