Book Club Gold: Coffee and Vodka by Helena Halme #bookclubgold #FreeBooks #GreatReads

By | April 9, 2017

The third book I’m featuring today as part of my Book Club Gold promotion is Coffee and Vodka by Helena Halme. (Excuse me a moment while I wave to Helena – I reviewed an earlier book, The Englishman, here on Being Anne many moons ago!).

Discussion question

How do you think immigration and displacement affects us as human beings; as fathers, mothers, lovers or sisters?

Eeva doesn’t want to remember. But now she’s forced to return to Finland and confront her past.

When Pappa announces the family is to leave Finland for a new life in Sweden, 11-year-old Eeva is elated. But in Stockholm Mamma finds feminism, Eeva’s sister, Anja, pretends to be Swedish and Pappa struggles to adapt. And one night, Eeva’s world falls apart.

Fast forward 30 years. Now teaching Swedish to foreigners, Eeva travels back to Finland when her beloved grandmother becomes ill. On the overnight ferry, a chance meeting with her married ex-lover, Yri, prompts family secrets to unravel and buried memories to come flooding back.

It’s time for Eeva to find out what really happened all those years ago…

Coffee and Vodka has it all: family drama, mystery, romance and sisterly love.

From the author

Why do I write in English? I began learning English at the age of seven. The Finnish language is difficult for others to master, so we learn a foreign tongue (or two) to communicate with the outside world.

When I was eleven my family moved to Sweden, and for a while Swedish was my strongest language, until we moved back to Finland four years later and I had to re-learn my mother tongue pretty quickly! I think it was this experience of another language and culture that made settling in the UK easier for me.

Living in Portsmouth as a young Navy Wife, I began writing a diary. Slowly the English section overtook the Finnish one, and I haven’t looked back since.

I once discussed writing with two Finnish authors, who also write in English. Jokingly, but carrying some truth, I said, ‘If I wrote in Finnish, I’d be in tears the whole of the time.’

My novels are mostly set in Finland and Sweden, and I write about subjects that are often painful to me: displacement, discrimination, love and home sickness. But even when I write about England or Britain, not using my native Finnish allows me to analyse events and describe them more objectively. And not being in tears while writing has certain benefits too…

If you’d like a copy of this one, just click on any of the images in this post. And just a reminder of the full link: I’ll have another book for you at 4pm.