2013 Heavensong
Heavensong tells the tale of a young religious couple, Vilja and Aleksi. As soon as a hand finds another, Vilja and Aleksi can already imagine the five-litre porridge pot and the 70 toes that wink underneath the front room table. Nine years and four children later, Vilja watches on as her son, Otso, dances around with his blonde curls flowing, and tries to recall the moment when rhythm escaped her body. At the revival meetings, women check the others’ bellies before looking into their eyes. The sermons depict the woman as a mother bird unable to flee the nest. Then finally, the day comes when Aleksi and Vilja sit hand-in-hand at the maternity ward and everything changes for good.

The tangible details of Heavensong enable the reader to see the life of the religious community. The Summer Services comprise the smell of wood chips, swinging benches, pizza, fizzy drinks and God’s word. The poetic language elevates Heavensong to a whole new level, and the details build an exceptionally beautiful work of fiction. The imagery depicting the deepest cores of human beings is found from the nature: the tired mother’s beak lifts a cry, the wing feathers hum on her back; she must open her seatbelt so that they’ll have room to grow.

Heavensong is a love novel, the story and imagery of which differ from the mainstream of modern literature. The novel has a strong ethical message. It stands up for life, up to the very end.

Finland, Gummerus
Denmark, Jensen & Dalgaard
Latvia, SIA

2013 Heavensong