A fresh and insightful exploration of what home is, how often we overlook it, and how sometimes—rarely— another person can be the home we’ve been looking for.
Flora, a young woman in her twenties, moves to Finland to be with her new boyfriend. Her old life in Latin America is on the other side of the ocean and, at the other end of their weekly video calls, her parents and the life and world she left behind.
As her new life in Helsinki begins to take shape: the search for work, new friends, and learning a whole new language in a city where there’s a hair salon on every street corner and its people seemingly all the same, ubiquitous Marimekko cloth bag on their shoulders.
Following Flora’s first two years in her new life, the novel is narrated by her newfound friends from their points-of-view, thereby not showing her experience through her own eyes, but through the eyes of those closest to her.
Inviting the reader to observe Flora’s acculturation from the multiple viewpoints of her boyfriend, his mother, her boyfriend’s ex, and Flora’s colleague, the narrators also open themselves up to their own vulnerabilities and insecurities. Gradually, an intimate, prismatic portrait of a young, hopeful person emerges, along with an invitation to examine how we in turn perceive Flora through our own definitions of love, friendship, and sense of belonging.
Loís Armas offers up a refreshing narrative of an underrepresented perspective in contemporary Finnish literature that, thematically, brings to Tommy Orange’s There, There or Zeshan Shakar’s They Call Me the Wolf and, structurally, Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans.
Full English Manuscript