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We Sinners

by

We Sinners Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This stunning debut novel—drawn from the author's own life experience—tells the moving story of a family of eleven in the American Midwest, bound together and torn apart by their faith

The Rovaniemis and their nine children belong to a deeply traditional church (no drinking, no dancing, no TV) in modern-day Michigan. A normal family in many ways, the Rovaniemis struggle with sibling rivalry, parental expectations, and forming their own unique identities in such a large family. But when two of the children venture from the faith, the family fragments and a haunting question emerges: Do we believe for ourselves, or for each other? Each chapter is told from the distinctive point of view of a different Rovaniemi, drawing a nuanced, kaleidoscopic portrait of this unconventional family. The children who reject the church learn that freedom comes at the almost unbearable price of their close family ties, and those who stay struggle daily with the challenges of resisting the temptations of modern culture. With precision and potent detail, We Sinners follows each character on their journey of doubt, self-knowledge, acceptance, and, ultimately, survival.

Review:

"Pylväinen's debut novel paints a sensitive portrait of a large Christian fundamentalist family in smalltown Michigan and beautifully depicts domestic life through minutiae: the spats between siblings, the mess of so many people living in close quarters, and the concessions a mother makes to her children. Warren and Pirjo Rovaniemi have nine children — each with their own growing pains and struggles with faith. The novel spans time and perspective; the family is shown from many angles, the point of view shifting from child to parent to child. The Rovaniemis are bound together by their beliefs and sheer numbers, nesting them in a shared understanding, but aside from religion, there are the usual problems of identity, sibling rivalry, and love. They are forbidden movies, dancing, television, birth control; one daughter, Tina, rebels, but wonders if she is leaving the church for herself or her boyfriend. Brita, the eldest, grapples with the emotional and physical task of raising her own children. The family is polarized when Simon, Tiina, and Julia leave the church, proving that their faith has as much to do with each other as it does with God. Pylväinen treats both parts of the conversation with understanding in simple prose that does not take sides. The story is not so much about religion itself, but about how it unites, separates, and directs each relationship in this family's life." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Hanna Pylväinen graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony residency and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She is from suburban Detroit.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805095333
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Pylvainen, Hanna
Author:
Pylväinen, Hanna
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co.
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Religion Western-Religious Fiction
Subject:
Christianity-Christian Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Family life
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120821
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
-1 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Biographical
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Religion » Christianity » Christian Fiction
Religion » Western Religions » Religious Fiction

We Sinners Used Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805095333 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pylväinen's debut novel paints a sensitive portrait of a large Christian fundamentalist family in smalltown Michigan and beautifully depicts domestic life through minutiae: the spats between siblings, the mess of so many people living in close quarters, and the concessions a mother makes to her children. Warren and Pirjo Rovaniemi have nine children — each with their own growing pains and struggles with faith. The novel spans time and perspective; the family is shown from many angles, the point of view shifting from child to parent to child. The Rovaniemis are bound together by their beliefs and sheer numbers, nesting them in a shared understanding, but aside from religion, there are the usual problems of identity, sibling rivalry, and love. They are forbidden movies, dancing, television, birth control; one daughter, Tina, rebels, but wonders if she is leaving the church for herself or her boyfriend. Brita, the eldest, grapples with the emotional and physical task of raising her own children. The family is polarized when Simon, Tiina, and Julia leave the church, proving that their faith has as much to do with each other as it does with God. Pylväinen treats both parts of the conversation with understanding in simple prose that does not take sides. The story is not so much about religion itself, but about how it unites, separates, and directs each relationship in this family's life." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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