10 / 2010
140 x 202 mm
General Fiction
Published by:
Riikka Pulkkinen


“I still carry them with me everywhere, hauling them around like a moving van looking for a home.”

Was it just another affair of a married artist? Or was it a betrayal ruining a little girl’s life? Who speaks the truth?

Elsa is dying. Her husband Martti and daughter Eleonoora are trying to get used to the idea of losing her, although they’re crushed with sorrow. As her mother’s existence becomes more fragile, the anchors of Eleonoora’s childhood memories are slipping away.

Eleonoora’s daughter Anna easily loses herself in pondering the fates of passers-by. For her the world is full of stories. She learns by chance the story of Eeva, her mother’s nanny, of which the grandparents have been silent about for years.

Eeva’s forgotten story opens layer by layer. The young woman’s voice carries us back to the 1960s, a time when the pill had been invented but the pick-up line hadn’t. A tale of a mother and daughter unfolds, a story of how memory can deceive us, because it is the most merciful thing to do.

Riikka Pulkkinen depicts the feelings and traumas of three generations with a subtle touch – those small movements the human mind makes when dealing with the most important things of all.



2010 shortlisted for the Finlandia Fiction Prize


Press quotes

“Riikka Pulkkinen depicts the three generations story with skill and exceptional maturity.” – Elliot Bay Books, USA

“Gives fresh life to the familiar story of a family forced to face the truth about itself. Melancholy but beautifully written, I predict it will appeal to readers who enjoyed Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved.” – Australian Women’s Weekly

“This much is true: Riikka Pulkkinen’s novel is some of the finest literature I have read in a long time.” – Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

“True is a heart-wrenchingly wise, beautiful, and melancholy novel.” – Me Naiset, Finland


Foreign rights information

Full translation in English is available

Published in:

  • Croatian (VBZ)
  • Czech (Motto/Albatros Media)
  • Danish (Gyldendal)
  • Dutch (Arbeiderspers, The Netherlands)
  • English / Australia (Scribe)
  • English / USA (Other Press)
  • Estonian (Pegasus)
  • French (Albin Michel)
  • German (Ullstein)
  • Hungarian (Gondolat)
  • Italian (Garzanti)
  • Korean (Balgunsesang)
  • Latvian (Mansards)
  • Norwegian (Gyldendal Norsk)
  • Polish (Noir sur Blanc)
  • Spanish (Salamandra)
  • Swedish (Norstedts)

Rights sold:

  • Lithuanian (Gimtasis Žodis)