Spinning Compass novel

Spinning Compass novel

photo-51In 2003, I moved from the U.S. to Finland to teach English and have a grand adventure, and to write a historical fiction novel based on my ancestors who immigrated to the U.S. from Finland in the early 20th century. Although my novel would take place in Minnesota, I wanted to get a sense of the Finnish language and ethos for the book. I wrote the novel–and had the adventure, although it wasn’t what I had envisioned. I came back to the U.S. in 2008 a divorcee, with a dual-citizen 2yo son, and sober. You can read all about that here and here. I did write the novel. It hasn’t been published yet.

Spinning Compass is a historical fiction novel about Finnish immigrants in Minnesota in the 1930’s, interwoven with pastiche of the Finnish epic poem The Kalevala. Here’s the synopsis:

When Finnish pastor August Rautavuori moves his wife and two teenage daughters from New York City to a small mining community in northern Minnesota in the 1930’s, he anticipates calm and simplicity as he prepares for retirement on a farm.  However, he is blindsided by controversy in the Finnish community between religious conservatives and political radicals, whom his youngest daughter Sylvi gets involved with.  As the years pass and the tension builds within August’s community and his family, his increasingly dogmatic political views isolate him and ultimately alienate him from the one person who really understands him: Sylvi.

Here are two excerpts:

Spinning Compass-Chapter 1 (30 pages)

Spinning Compass-Kalevala pastiche (2 pages)

If you want to read them, cool. I’d love to hear what you think (gently, gently).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s