Midsummer Visitor (Juhannusvieras)


What if those nostalgic memories of the summers of youth were just an illusion, a sham?

When Tuija and her sisters sit around the same table, the facade of the earlier summer paradise crumbles into dust. Darker shades cut into the scent of freshly-mown hay and the limpid summer nights. The real memories have to be brought to the surface, even if it hurts.

In Midsummer Visitor the author returns to the rural setting of her first book, The Poleaxe, (1984) more than twenty years later.

Midsummer Eve. We’d just come back from the lake and we’re sitting with Saila in our long nighties on a bench in the cabin and eating crispbread with butter that’s melted in the heat. Suddenly I see Risto in the doorway. He looks straight at me, a little smile starting to curl up.
“You want to watch you dun hurt yesself”, he says.
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Dun hurt yourself on the corners. Crispbread’s sharp.”
My heart swells up. I wait a few seconds before taking another bite. I don’t want to break the moment by making any moves.