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Teemestarin kirja by Emmi Itäranta

Teemestarin kirja (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Emmi Itäranta

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1751467,867 (3.81)13
Title:Teemestarin kirja
Authors:Emmi Itäranta
Info:Helsinki : Teos, 2012
Collections:Your library, Favorites

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Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (2012)


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English (11)  Finnish (2)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
In a far future where water has become scarce due to climate change, a young girl tries to master the tea ceremony while keeping the family secret of the underground spring hidden near her house.

This short dystopian novel was well written, slow and elegiac, musing on water and the loss of snow in what was formerly the Scandinavian region. Not a lot happens, but neither does the story unfold exactly the way I expected. While I greatly enjoyed the writing, I found myself wishing the world had been a bit more fleshed out. Clearly China has achieved some kind of global dominance in this future vision, but the details are hazy, perhaps purposefully, since a lot of history has been lost following a general collapse of civilization. Still, there is an obsession with the past; mining the dumps for bits and pieces of old junk that can be reused, Noria and her friend discover an old CD that they figure out how to play and learn about an expedition farther north where there may be water. They also learn a terrible secret, which is never revealed in the text, but which I assume is that the climate change they suffer under was caused by people. Even though the vagueness could be frustrating, I thought this was a rewarding read, quite different from other dystopians featuring a teen protagonist. ( )
  sturlington | Sep 15, 2015 |
Good speculative dystopian fiction. Primarily a portrait of one girls attempt to make a difference in a brutal world. Finely wrought writing and believably complex characters. ( )
  daemon6 | Aug 21, 2015 |
Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Water is an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible.

I will not forget Noria Kaitio anytime soon. She was such a real person, a strong female, yet a teenager nonetheless; I liked her immediately. The world in which this novel was set ... whew, I can still feel the horseflies against the insect hood and the sand and sun beating down relentlessly. Such evocative imagery coupled with a wholly believable and completely frightening premise made this a novel I will remember forever even if I'm not brave enough to re-read it anytime soon.

4.5 stars

"Of all silences I had encountered this was the gravest and most inevitable: not the silence of secrets, but of knowing (195)." ( )
  flying_monkeys | May 15, 2015 |
I really liked The Memory of Water, and am prepared to forgive its standard plot for the twist ending, the intriguing setting and the beautiful style! ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 6, 2015 |
What is History? A haunting and exceptionally well told story from a simple individuals viewpoint in a far from utopian future. Emmi Itäranta's story telling has the impact of Kate Wilhelm (where late the sweet birds sang), Ayn Rand (Anthem or We the Living), or even Ursula LeGuin (Left Hand of Darkness, Dispossesed). ( )
  DaveCapp | Oct 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emmi Itärantaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aleshyn, AndreiCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Itäranta, EmmiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, AdamCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Everything is ready now.
The ceremony is over when there is no more water.
Once the silent space around a secret is shattered, it cannot be made whole again.
Of all silences I had encountered this was the gravest and most inevitable: not the silence of secrets, but of knowing.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Dystopian tale
With strong environmental
Message: bleak's the word.

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"The award-winning speculative debut novel, now in English for the first time! In the far north of the Scandinavian Union, now occupied by the power state of New Qian, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio studies to become a tea master like her father. It is a position that holds great responsibility and a dangerous secret. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that once provided water for her whole village. When Noria's father dies, the secret of the spring reaches the new military commander. and the power of the army is vast indeed. But the precious water reserve is not the only forbidden knowledge Noria possesses, and resistance is a fine line. Threatened with imprisonment, and with her life at stake, Noria must make an excruciating, dangerous choice between knowledge and freedom"-- "An amazing, award-winning dystopian debut novel by a major new talent"--… (more)

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