The Rabbit Back Literature Society – Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Hello! Okay, so a while ago I wrote a kind of half review of a book I was in the midst of reading and in a more recent blog I realised I hadn’t done a full review so here we go…

And once again, I shall refer to the author as PJ because, sorry, but his name is excessive with umlauts.

Gorgeous cover!!

First of all, I absolutely loved this book. It’s so lovely and snowy and wac Gorgeous cover!!ky and magical. Ella, the infertile protagonist with lovely lips is a literature teacher who notices something crazy go down in a copy of Crime and Punishment. Following a hunch, she visits the Rabbit Back Library (her mothership) to investigate. What she finds isn’t pretty. The liquorice-obsessed librarian (a member of The Rabbit Back Literature Society) is burning books! Sacrilege!!

The founder of the Literature Society, the mysterious Laura White, gains even more mystery as the books goes on and, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure much was cleared up…I guess that’s part of the fun?

Anyway, Ella goes on this amazing, whirlwind adventure which is heartstoppingly gripping until the very end. Of course, being written by a Finnish author, it is somewhat bizarre in some (perhaps a lot) of scenes but I’m afraid you just have to get over it in some literature, it just has to be accepted.

I will say that the translation has slip up moments but they’re easy to pass by and ignore, especially if you’re used to reading translated texts. However, I must say that I was extremely impressed with the amount of beautiful poeticism in the narrative that wasn’t harmed due to the translation, it’s written so well! PJ really is a hidden, Finnish gem.

One more thing I will say (yes, this review is rather short, sorry about that) is that this book deals with some interesting social issues. Ella’s father, from the onset, is rather aloof and just likes to sit in the garden and have some very quiet, alone time. Clearly, he has some form of dementia that has caused his personality to fade away. We then get to see how Ella and her mother cope with this man – who is practically a stranger by this point – whilst mourning the father/husband they once knew. There is also another character who has basically decided to eat himself to death (slowly) because he finds life, and people, rather unbearable. And I can tell you, we see a little more of his person than I’d care to imagine but, once again, PJ did not spare any details.

So, if you’re looking to escape into some mystical land of ice and snow whilst being taken away by the hush-hush nature of The Rabbit Back Literature Society then I would very much recommend this book! It’s a book for book lovers, which I hope ‘all’ you who read this are!

Happy reading,

Carenza x

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