A wild and lyrical epistolary novel about love, unfulfilled dreams and finding your roots by award-winning writer Katja Kettu
Ettu wakes up at his home on a Minnesota reservation one day to find his beloved Rose is gone. At the police station, it turns out that Rose is not the only thing he’s missing; he’s lost all the past thirty-five years that she has been missing from his side.
The story of Rose’s disappearance and Ettu’s decline is narrated by their adult daughter Lempi. Half-Ojibwa, half-Finn, Lempi struggles with the inevitable conflict of her own identity – too white on the reservation and too Indian off it. Lempi pieces together the fragments of the kaleidoscopic canvas of her life: childhood recollections of her mother’s presence; the bitter, episodic stings of adolescence; nostalgia and the distant roots in the distant homeland of her Finnish grandparents. Gradually, she comes to understand how memory sustains our identity, experiences, and worldview – as well as the healing power of oblivion.
With echoes of Blixen and Marquez, Katja Kettu’s fifth novel, Rose is Gone is a sweeping narrative suffused with a reality-transcending hope: a love story that sparks into flame, telling a tale rich in its prose under the thrall of the unfettered imagination, of a reality that is more hopeful than those of many others’ in today’s world.
Bonnier Rights Eleonoora Kirk
‘If you read just one Finnish novel this year, read Rose is Gone, Katja Kettu’s magnificent, Twin Peaks-like mystery. Mysterious language and an intense, passionate story absorb the reader into a magic thrall, falling under its spell entirely after mere tens of pages. […] Exceptionally brilliant.’ – Aamulehti, five stars
Katja Kettu is one of Finland’s most highly regarded and successful contemporary authors. Translation rights to her novels The Midwife and Hawk Moth have been sold for over 20 languages.