The Finnish North American Literature Association (FinNALA) is a worthy organization that promotes and supports Finnish-Canadian and Finnish-American writers and publishers across the continent. They also publish a magazine called Kippis.
Their president, Beth Virtanen, PhD, who is also the editor of Kippis, recently wrote a very kind review of my novel Lost Ground. Here is an excerpt from it:
“Ulla Jordan’s 2015 work, Lost Ground, is spectacular. It presents a heart-wrenching portrayal of love and loss amidst the backdrop of the Winter War. In this historical fiction, she brings to life the human emotions and trials inherent in a circumstance of Finnish national duress during which a sizable portion of land was lost to Russia, an invading power that significantly out-manned Finland’s small size and proportionately smaller military.
The protagonist, wealthy and well-educated Tina Björnström, is torn between her love for a poor soldier of the Finnish working class and that for an American reporter covering the war in Europe. The narrative thread acquaints the reader with the struggles of average Finnish people during the war, both at home and on the battle field, as well as the perspective from abroad as it is represented by the journalist’s point of view. The narrative structure provides readers with a complex view of this troubling time… As the story unfolds, the reader experiences through the text the hopes and fears of Finns throughout the historic period…The plotline shares Finland’s unique history, putting a personal face to it via the characters in the story… From the book we come away with a deeper knowledge of what drives the Finnish ethnic character.
This book is gripping, a must-read, for the history and the storyline, but more so for the rendering of this particular version of the human condition. Those who know what sisu is will realize more certainly its significance as a consequence of the read.”
Review by Beth L. Virtanen, Ph.D., Editor in Chief of Kippis! and president of the Finnish North American Literature Association. With her doctorate in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, she is Professor and Assistant Program Director in English at South University Online. Critically, she writes about equity and access in education. Creatively, she is a poet, fiction writer, and occasional essayist.