Book Review | Miika Nousiainen’s Fifth Novel is like a written portion of comfort food: in it, men cry, nurture and dream, and everyone wants to love

The surface renovation is a good-natured novel. This is what Miika Nousiainen hoped for: a fun, gloomy, entertaining and topical work.

Novel

Miika Nousiainen: Surface repair. Big Dipper. 367 s.

Miika Nousiainen The fifth novel is, in a nice way, a simple book. It lacks all the arduous trying. Nousiainen does not brillify with language or build time-level arrangements. He just lets his characters talk and the story progress.

This is what Nousiainen hoped for: a fun, gloomy, entertaining and topical work. Critic Suvi Ahola defined Nousiainen’s previous, Root canal treatment, into a good-natured novel. Surface repair belongs to the same series.

Shaking starts with the funeral. The father of Sami, who is approaching forty, is dead, but it doesn’t really seem like anything to Sami. The father was a rude and awkward man whose whims were tolerated by Sami, sister, and mother. Now the hubby is gone, and relatives are playing in the choir for his subtlety.

At the coffin, Sam’s guy’s pants are blinking and the other guy’s child spontaneously sings “good when you die, good when you die.”

At the coffee table of the memorial service, the central theme of the novel, the family, is reached. Relative from Sam’s sister Henna, why this and his wife Esa still have no offspring, even though a long relationship and permanent jobs would allow the family to continue.

Henna gets nervous and disappears. Because of the same type of baby pressure, she has previously severed her mother.

Henna would like a child. That is his biggest dream. Reproduction just hasn’t taken to succeed, and relatives ’curiosities are painful to listen to.

Samilla has the same wish, but in addition to the child, he lacks a spouse. She has searched and sometimes found, but women always disappear at the stage when they should start to establish themselves and plan for the future.

The sympathetic Sami gets to the starting point again and again.

Sami is the real protagonist of the book, but Henna, Sami’s mother Seija and Sami’s friends Markus and Pesonen have also been raised as perspective figures and self-narrators. Each has their own tragedy – especially with their parents ’caregiver, the perpetual Pesone, whose life has flown past in meeting the needs of others.

Markus, on the other hand, ended up as the single parent of his three lively daughters when his wife became ill with postpartum depression and underwent long-term treatment.

Seija is in her seventies, brisk and a little lonely. The children don’t have time for her, and the grandchildren have not been blessed, unlike the girlfriend Sinika, who constantly sends sweet pictures of her grandmother’s daily life.

And all wants to love like Hector to sing. Everyone needs a partner next to them or a family around them.

The characters are also connected by a lifestyle blog called Surface Repair. The author of the blog most obviously masters search engine optimization, as all five drift to read his texts, who on what topic.

Blog posts are a shiny-shaky supposed reality. They don’t have to quarrel with the kids about the screen time, the spouse cuts the breakfast breads into a heart shape, the healthy millet biscuits taste good to the whole family and the schoolboy’s birthday program has mindfulness in the woods.

The satire of the blog world is the weakest link in the novel. It feels tired and superficial, too easy to paint. Today, blogs are dominated by new sincerity and confession, not so much the pursuit of perfection. Such a parody would have worked better five or ten years ago.

Fortunately, the blogger will later see new aspects.

Nousiaisen the core themes of humor, the conflicts between the generations and the grim Finnish folk character, appear in the novel to their advantage.

Also awesome is the modernity of the male characters in their thirties and forties. Toxic masculinity shines through in its absence as these men cry, nurture, and dream. And don’t laugh at it. Nor are the stressful “men it, women this” sex jokes cultivated.

You can see from the book that imagination has been used and background work has been done. Surface renovation the self-narrators are in very different jobs and life situations. None of them is a creative professional contemplating their own writing. Nousiainen has applied for his idea a little further.

The bystanders are also credible and jokingly built.

Surface repair treats life mischievously but empathetically towards people. That’s a good recipe. At least I ate this written portion of consolation food with satisfaction.

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