It’s been about a thousand years since I last wrote a book review and I do miss it so. I’m on a long journey of trying to continue with my 100 books read challenge over at Goodreads, and I’m woefully behind at this point by something like 19 books. My major downfall? The peanut won’t sit for me to read to him and the preshus is all about reading books on his own. And then there was that time a few months back when I just couldn’t find anything I wanted to read, so that put a major damper on my books read count this year. Still, I’m going to give it the good old college try and get as many read (or listened to) as I can before 2016 is over.

The Core of the Sun Johanna Sinisalo The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo, Lola Rogers (Translation)

The Core of the Sun is one of those books that you pick up and immediately take home based on the cover art alone. Yup, I’m that kind of book lover. I spotted this one at the public library and immediately I had to know, why is that one girl cradling a chili pepper? Because seriously, that’s weird.

I love a good alternate present/future (literary speculative fiction) story and this one is very unique and out of my normal range of books that I would normally read since it’s a translated story from its original Finnish.

Based in Finnland, it’s the story of Vera/Vanna, a young woman who lives in a country where everyone is controlled, females are bred from a young age to be subservient to males, and chili peppers are a banned substance. Apparently spicy food is the road to evil, but Vera/Vanna and her fake boyfriend are in the chili selling trade. shenanigans abound.

I really liked this novel, not so  much for the plot points, but for the storytelling technique of the author. Part of the story is in the form of news clips and historical documents that tell the tale of a society gone sideways and letters Vera/Vanna writes to her probably dead sister, and the other rest is told from the point of view of Vera/Vanna and her boyfriend Jare as they navigate the underground chili trade. Oh yeah, did I mention that Vera/Vanna is addicted to chilli? It’s a kooky story to be sure, but beautifully written.

4 stars.

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