Exploring the attic, seventeen-year-old Ronja comes across documents pertaining to her great-uncle. The fate of this blood relative, who fell during World War II, starts to stake out the path Ronja’s life will take, and in the spring of her senior year, the lonely, defiant girl changes her last name to Sachse, after the soldier she so admires.
Ronja ends up a member of the ultrapatriotic Heartline network, but comes to learn that the community of comrades dominates, manipulates, and demands services of its members. The stark black-and-whiteness of youth takes on shades and tones as the network tightens its hold on her. What are heroism and loyalty; what does the realization of the slogan “No man left behind” require? Doesn’t every hero and victim deserve to be remembered and mourned? To what extent do we carry our pasts with us?
“Lintunen’s sentences are considered, her narration honed and in instances extremely spare. With a few carefully crafted sentences, she is capable of creating fully formed characters and constructing dense, intense moments.” – Suomen Kuvalehti
“Lintunen is a good, short story-style writer, which is also evident in this novel’s details.” – Helsingin Sanomat
“The dense, complex work gradually peels back, revealing new layers and storylines that overlap in thematically intriguing ways. Heartline gets a fresh grip on the theme of generational rebellion.” – Nuoren Voiman Kritiikki
“Lintunen writes a psychologically precise and believable story about a young person’s blind idealism and absolutist views. [–] Heartline is like a mirror where the reflection shifts according to the viewer’s perspective.” – Pohjolan Sanomat
“The work focuses on a theme rarely dealt with in Finnish literature: extremist movements and the treatment of individuals within them.” – Vasabladet
“Heartline is a warning against monomaniac fervour and the use of sanctions to bend individuals to blind fealty. It is an important statement at both the societal and universal levels.” – Keskisuomalainen
“Heartline solidifies Lintunen’s role as a portrayer of extreme emotional experiences.” – Satakunnan Kansa
“Lintunen’s character depictions are fantastic.” – Turun Sanomat