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Teemestarin kirja by Emmi Itäranta

Teemestarin kirja (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Emmi Itäranta

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2472246,499 (3.83)23
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 (18)  Finnish (3)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
What a treat! I received this book as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, and I'm thrilled that it lived up to my expectations.

It could be called a YA dystopian novel. But that would undermine the beauty of this book. The prose is poetic, enveloping the reader in the metaphor and symbolism of water with every page. Water is the key element of Life and for Life, but also has close ties to Death. The village tea master, then, uniquely understands both Life and Death in ancient ways.

The story has a female teenager as the heroine, and her best friend is along for the ride as well. It's refreshing to see these two young women being smart, resourceful, brave, loyal and true. It's sad that even in some future version of our world, it's not hard to imagine women being marginalized, or that those in power will keep the truth from the masses. With these timeless elements in place, the author is able to tell her futuristic tale to us today.

And this tale is also cautionary: what will happen to the future generations when we pass the point of no return on global warming? For people will survive, but what will that look like? What kind of future are we crafting for the people alive 200 years from now? Is this tale fiction, or more of a prophecy for those brave enough to listen to it?

This isn't my usual genre at all, but I'm really glad I read it. It was good to read something different, and something from a Finnish author - don't think I've ever done that before. Good reminders of how many worlds within literature one can find with just a little digging. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta is a highly recommended, sensitive dystopian novel set in a future where water is scarce and controlled by the military.

Noria Kaitio, 17, is studying with her father to continue the family tradition of tea master. Set in future Finland, now part of the New Qian empire of Asia and Europe, global warming has made many areas of the world uninhabitable. Water shortages are common and what water there is is strictly controlled by the military and rationed out. When Noria learns the secrets of being a tea master, a role traditionally only held by males, and all the teahouse ceremony involves, she also learns a bigger secret: the location of a hidden spring unknown to anyone but her father.

Major Bolin has been protecting her father but when Commander Taro comes on the scene it becomes clear that he is suspicious and plans to discover their secret and destroy her family.

Noria also explores the plastic filled landfills of garbage with her friend Sanja, who is able to repair many broken things. They find a disk that mentions yet another secret, a secret Noria also wants to learn.
This dystopian novel by Finnish author Itäranta is set in one small area of a very change future world. Although some of the large global scale catastrophes are hinted at or mentioned, the setting remains in this one small part of Finland and the story stays focused on the effects the new world has on one person in that small part of the new world.

The writing in Memory of Water can be described as poetic, delicate, atmospheric, and expressive. The juxtaposition of a hard, harsh world being described in beautiful prose can be startling, but the contrast helps set the tone of despair even as the carefully crafted writing flows along so seductively. While there is tension in this novel, it is not overwhelming. It flows along at an even pace, picking up speed slowly.

Although not stated, I'd place this among other YA dystopian fiction selections based on the age of the character and the uncomplicated linear plot. The writing is a step up from most YA selections, however.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of HarperCollins for review purposes.

harpervoyagerbooks.com/2014/05/27/excerpt-of-the-memory-of-water-by-emmi-itaranta/ ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
Beautiful, slow paced story about a young girl who is forced to make her own choices under stressing circumstances. Dystopia with less action but a lot of tension and suspense. During reading I had the feeling there was a lot to read between the lines. ( )
  Maaike15274 | Feb 16, 2016 |
Blurb comparing a book to Ursula LeGuin? Gets me to read it every time...

Yes, I can see where the comparison came from. It probably reminds me most of the feel of LeGuin's 'Annals of the Western Shore' trilogy. The similarity is not so much in actual content, but in what is dwelled on; the themes and pace.

This will also appeal to those looking for post-apocalyptic YA who are interested in more thoughtful, character-oriented stories instead of just action.

The setting is a dystopian future Scandinavia, which has been under an oppressive Chinese (New Qian, that is) rule for generations. Water is mysteriously scarce, and controlled by the corrupt and brutal military junta. Noria is a young woman who has brought up in the tradition of the tea ceremony, a ritual that helps give peace and stability to people whose lives have too little of those elements. She has a secret. Her family knows the location of a secret fresh water spring. When she is left alone in the world, will she choose to keep her knowledge to herself, even as her friends and neighbors go thirsty?

The themes of secrets, knowledge, sharing and trust run through the story, contributing to a lovely and satisfying tale. No, the author is not as masterful as LeGuin - but few are.

I received a copy of this title through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Much appreciation for the book. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Surprisingly stale. The story lacks coherence and believability. I want my end of the world stories to have reasons, not just scenarios. ( )
  2wonderY | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (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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Book description
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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