“Can you see me? I’m Iiris Lempivaara, I have an anxious heavy heart as well as a bottle of whiskey and a harmonica, and I’m wearing ski pants from 1942.”
Altogether a different kind of work from Riikka Pulkkinen’s previous novels, this light but wise novel received very positive reactions from the press and readers alike.
Finding herself abruptly abandoned, Iiris undertakes a revolutionary self-help therapy called “You look good in high heels with chocolate smudges on your chin.” Unrelenting practice, required.
When Aleksi stuns Iiris by leaving her after a seven year relationship and admits he has never loved her, a new beginning lies before her – one that at first looks like an end. But never fear – school psychologist Iiris will devise survival strategies! With the help of her 80-something neighbour Marja-Liisa and the lessons Marja-Liisa has derived from life and soap operas, as well as therapy methods Iiris herself concocts, Iiris does get past her sorrows.
“Iiris Lempivaara’s Restless Heart is first and foremost a book that makes you laugh out loud: it is difficult not to giggle and guffaw when reading it. The story Iiris tells offers, as release valve, nimble word magic and humour that is at times ironic but never cynical.
The way Pulkkinen makes Iiris Lempivaara’s heart beat through magnificent use of language is also familiar from Pulkkinen’s earlier novels. New to this work is the use of voice and the genre awareness that bring out different aspects of woman’s physical presence.”
– Turun Sanomat, Finland
“This time Pulkkinen does not aim for profundity through painful experiences. Instead she throws herself into light-hearted humour. Her sentences are beautifully constructed. The text flows, alive and nimble. As per comedic tradition, the author grants her story a happy ending.” – Helsingin Sanomat, Finland
Foreign rights information
An excerpt in English is available.
Rights sold to France (Albin Michel).