Tag-Archive for ◊ important decision ◊

Author:
• Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Arto Paasilinna, one of seven children – five sons and two daughters – was born in 1942 in Kittilä, Lapland in Finland to a civil servant father and a housewife mother. He studied at the General and Elementary School Line at the Lapland Folk Academy.

As a young teenager, Paasilinna worked in various jobs. One of them was as a farm labourer and a wood cutter. He says: “I was a boy of forests, working the land, timber, fishing, hunting, the whole culture that is found in my books”. Later he worked as a journalist, writer and editor for various newspapers and literary magazines.

In 1975, finding journalism “more superficial and meaningless”, he decided to dedicate his time to writing his novel, The Year Of The Hare. He sells his boat to finance the novel which becomes an instant success. From now on Paasilinna is able to live off his writing. He becomes the most acclaimed writer in Finland and in other Scandinavian countries. He is a prolific writer and millions of his books have been sold worldwide.

The Year Of The Hare, Arto Paasilinna’s favourite and most famous novel, has been translated into several languages. It was first published in Finnish in 1975 and in English in 1995. The Year Of The Hare was selected by the Unesco Collection of Representative Works which funded the English translation by Herbert Lomas. It has won three major international awards and was twice adapted for feature films: a Finnish film in 1977 named “Jäniksen vuosi” and a French version in 2006 called: “Le lièvre de Vatanen”.

The middle-aged Finnish journalist, Kaarlo Vatanen, and his middle-aged colleague photographer,“two dissatisfied, cynical men” are driving back to Helsinki from Heinola, after an assignment for their weekly magazine, when their car hits a leaping leveret. The photographer stops the car and Vatanen goes looking for the wounded animal in the nearby forest. He finds it with a broken left hind leg and holds him in his arms for comfort before nursing him.

In the Chinese zodiac, the rabbit – cousin of the hare – has represented Hope for Chinese people for a long time and in the Chinese legend, the moon goddess, Chang’e, had a rabbit as a pet.

Vatanen, who is going through a middle-age crisis, instantly senses a bond between him and the leveret, who will become his inseparable companion. From this moment on, Vatanen finds himself magically connected with nature away from the strain, turbulence and rampant consumerism of urban life which he can no longer endure.

Vatanen feels free from all constraints for the first time in his life. He decides to sell his possessions, abandon his wife and his job after realizing that he neither cares for his unloving wife nor for his empty, boring job and travels across Finland’s wild nature away from civilization. Vatanen chooses the path of no return with no regrets, seeking an adventurous new life. A fascinating exchange occurs: the conventional Vatanen becomes an untamed man while the wild hare turns into a domesticated animal. In each others company, man and animal will help one another to heal their afflictions: psychological for one and physical for the other.

During this one year several surreal events happen, Vatanen lives doing odd jobs, repairing a hut or cutting logs in the forest as well as fighting a ferocious forest fire. He even gets engaged to Leila, an attractive young lawyer, while being drunk but once sober he surprisingly has no recollection of taking such an important decision. While living and working in the forest, Vatanen has to fight a ravenous, cheeky raven and a dangerous, vicious bear and follow it across the border to the Soviet Union which leads to his arrest by Russian soldiers accusing him of spying.

The satirical and cynical Year Of The Hare is a story of a dissatisfied, embittered man who takes his courage in hand by giving up everything to fulfill his dreams in the hope of attaining a serene life. It’s a quest for freedom and a journey of exciting adventures. Consequently, this tale unleashes the dream that lies deep inside each one of us: the search for the meaning of life and the yearning to lead a simple harmonious existence in peace with nature beyond the bounds.

Category: Book Reviews  | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  | Leave a Comment
Author:
• Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Nicholas Sparks was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1965. He is the second of three children. His brother Michael is still alive, but his younger sister Danielle is deceased. His father was a professor and his mother was a housewife and then an optometrist’s assistant.

He majored in Business Finance and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with high honours in 1988.

After having been rejected by publishers and law schools, Nicholas Sparks worked in different fields, including estate appraisal, waiting tables, selling dental products and starting his own manufacturing business. He was married in 1989 and lived in Sacramento before moving in 1992 to New Bern, North Carolina where he sold pharmaceuticals and where he is living today with his wife and five children.

Nicholas Sparks wrote his first novel, The Passing, in the summer of 1985 which was never published. His second unpublished novel, The Royal Murders, was written in 1989.

He is a prolific writer, he wrote fourteen books between 1996 and 2008:
The Note Book was published in 1996 and was made into a film.
Message in a Bottle in 1998 was also made into a film.
A Walk to Remember in 1999 was also a film.
The Rescue 2000.
A Bend in the Road in 2001.
Nights in Rodanthe 2002 was made into a film.
The Guardian 2003.
The Wedding 2003.
Three Weeks with my Brother 2004.
True Believer 2005.
At First Sight 2005.
Dear John 2006.
The Choice 2007.
The Lucky One 2008.

The Wedding is an easy to read, romantic story, about love between a husband, Wilson Lewis, the narrator, a hard working estate lawyer and his wife Jane. The novel recounts their relationship and the renewed efforts and vows orchestrated by the main character, Wilson Lewis, in an attempt to rekindle the lost romantic courtship, like in the early days of his relationship with Jane.

Wilson endeavours to win his wife back by trying hard to regain her love once more. After thirty years of marriage and after realizing that he loves Jane more than ever and therefore didn’t want to lose her, now that the romance and passion have gone out of their wedlock, he takes an important decision after forgetting his 29th wedding anniversary.

Wilson decides to spend the year leading up to his 30th anniversary secretly preparing a big surprise for the wife he adores, with the advice of his romantic father-in-law, Noah, and with the help of their three children, Leslie, Joseph and Anna.

He sets his mind to giving her the love and care that her parents gave to each other for fifty years. He also starts re-courting her and being attentive and considerate while planning to organise the wedding she always dreamed of having in order to make up for the simple civil wedding she had to settle for previously.

Anna will pretend to want to have her wedding on the same day as her parents wedding anniversary. The whole novel will be recounting all the preparation leading up to the big day until the happy, welcome and original twist at the end since the readers believe that the story is about Anna’s wedding all the way through the novel.

The author in the prologue asks the question : “Is it possible, I wonder, for a man to truly change?” The epilogue gives the answer : “Yes, I decided, a man can truly change” if given a second chance, true love will always prevail.

Category: Book Reviews  | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  | Leave a Comment