[review] Kirsti Kuronen: Bad patch

Kuronen, Kirstipaha_puuska
Paha puuska
[’Bad patch’]
Karisto 2015
ISBN 978-951-23-5882-3

Kirsti Kuronen’s latest book is a combination of a novel and a poem. It tells the story of Hilla, whose younger brother, Lauri, has killed himself by laying down on the tracks and letting a train run over him. Hilla cannot understand why, as neither a message nor any apparent reason is found. Hilla continues to have imaginary conversations with Lauri on a rock where they used to sit together and talk about things. She tries to find a reason for Lauri’s actions as she processes the death of her brother. With no suicide note it feels like an accident, but Hilla cannot get her head around his death. She blames herself, the world, their family and the train driver. As time goes by, Hilla visits the rock less often. She starts to heal and can move on with her life.

The form of Bad patch gives the reader some breaks during the book. The text flows freely on the pages that are interspersed with blank pages. The topic of the book is so heavy that it is comforting to take a break and a deep breath every once in a while, processing what you have just read. It can also provide a reader who has experienced something similar with some therapeutic help. Books, after all, provide new perspectives to things and help people recognize their own feelings. Books can help heal traumas.

Because the book deals with so many important themes, the IBBY Finland decided to nominate it for the IBBY Honour list of 2016.

Suvi Oksanen, 11/2016

Also by Kirsti Kuronen:
4 x 100 (Karisto 2013)
Omenapuu laulaa (Karisto 2012)
Piruettiystävyys (Karisto 2010)
Kuituset ja kummitus (Karisto 2010)

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