Lilium regale

Lilium Regale is a portrayal of women in five generations, with a timeline that extends from wartime to the present day. The novel tells about Else and the lifechanging encounters she comes upon. It’s a sensual description of her linguistic and sexual awakening and tells about life in the 1940s and 1950s Lapland.  

As Lapland burns, Else is evacuated to Sweden together with her mother and grandmother. There she meets Inga, the daughter of a literary family, and the two embark on linguistic and corporal self-discovery. They offer each other words in their own language, like poems. Upon her return back to Northern Finland Else works as a maid in a pharmacist’s house, where she encounters Irina, the pharmacist’s wife who opens the door to the upper-class world and self-discovery. 

Lilium regale is Johanna Laitila’s debut novel. It deals with lifelong love, a generation that has seen war, and silenced stories. Laitila masters at sketching the linguistic and physical awakening. Poetic and sensuous language, fulfilled with a strong northern dialect, and beautiful narrative. The poetic language combined with the description of the natural world and Northern Finnish landscape and the human relationship to the natural world together creates a breathtaking reading experience. 

Lilium Regale is a portrayal of women in five generations, with a timeline that extends from wartime to the present day. The novel tells about Else and the lifechanging encounters she comes upon. It’s a sensual description of her linguistic and sexual awakening and tells about life in the 1940s and 1950s Lapland.  

As Lapland burns, Else is evacuated to Sweden together with her mother and grandmother. There she meets Inga, the daughter of a literary family, and the two embark on linguistic and corporal self-discovery. They offer each other words in their own language, like poems. Upon her return back to Northern Finland Else works as a maid in a pharmacist’s house, where she encounters Irina, the pharmacist’s wife who opens the door to the upper-class world and self-discovery. 

Lilium regale is Johanna Laitila’s debut novel. It deals with lifelong love, a generation that has seen war, and silenced stories. Laitila masters at sketching the linguistic and physical awakening. Poetic and sensuous language, fulfilled with a strong northern dialect, and beautiful narrative. The poetic language combined with the description of the natural world and Northern Finnish landscape and the human relationship to the natural world together creates a breathtaking reading experience. 

info

  • Year of publication

    2019

  • Original title

    Lilium regale

  • Page count

    350

  • Original publisher

    Gummerus Publishers

  • Original language of publication

    Finnish

Reviews

  • Helena Ruuska, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

    “Johanna Laitila’s debut is a display of skill with an intriguing theme and breath-taking language.”

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