Liisa Kovala, "Sisu's Winter War" (Latitude 46, 2022)


Today I talked to Liisa Kovala about her new novel Sisu's Winter War (Latitude 46, 2022).

Meri Saari made a promise to her dying mother she would keep the family together, but she was too young to know how a war can pull people apart. As a teenager responsible for her siblings she finds herself following her father to the front lines during the Winter War when he goes missing in action. Forty years later, living in northern Ontario, Meri's past and present collide when she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Responsible for her granddaughter, and navigating a strained relationship with her daughter Linnea, Meri is haunted by the people of her past and by the promises she failed to keep. As she struggles against her inevitable decline, she knows her losses are amassing: her home, her health, and her memories. Meri embarks on one last journey in search of the man she had to give up, and before it's too late. Before everything disappears.

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Ari Barbalat

Ari Barbalat holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of California in Los Angeles. He lives in Toronto with his family.

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