The first novel in the trilogy about the Betel family is marked by dark undercurrents.
The father’s name is Johan and the son’s name is Johan. They are living the post-civil war years apart. The father, who has been declared dead, has defected to the Soviet Union to build socialism. The younger Johan lives with his mother and her new husband Voima in a Finnish city. Both must learn the new conditions of life.
Johan and Johan, the Finlandia prize winning novel Becoming Father and Daughter and the last part of the trilogy, Life, and Life, explore the Betel family for four generations. Written in serene, bright language and illustrating the arbitrary character of birth, life and death.