Paul Auster meets David Lynch… If you prefer quick descriptions.
Olli Suominen is a children’s book publisher, a member of the local church council, a husband and a father. In every way a respectable, honest and decent guy, a trusted member of society.
Behind this irreproachable facade, Olli is bored, moving through life in stupor day after day. His relationship with his wife, Aino, a school teacher, has faded to routine and his little son, Lauri, feels like a stranger to him.
The change comes when Olli contacts his long-lost childhood sweetheart, Kerttu, on Facebook. Kerttu has become a famous writer and her next book, The Magical City Guide, is due to be published by Olli’s publishing house.
Little by little Olli slips out of his numbing workaday life into a free fall. Dramatic, suppressed childhood memories resurface. Dreaming and wakefulness intermingle. A feeling of bleakness is replaced by powerful passions.
In Secret Passages in a Hillside Town Jääskeläinen has conjured up a magnetic, ambience-filled experience. The novel’s emotional range extends from melancholy to melodrama and horror; there is also a touch of a Famous Five feeling thrown in – however these Famous Five are not like the ones we’re used to know...
Jääskeläinen has a talent for knocking everyday life out of joint, elevating it to a magical yet credible level.
There is a catch... Two identical-looking versions of Secret Passages in a Hillside Town have been published, each with a different ending. So you can’t know beforehand which one you’re getting. After you’re done, you can read the alternate ending online.
Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen has described Secret Passages in a Hillside Town as a tribute to films that are larger than life. Movie buffs will find frequent references to the world of cinema.
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