This apparently unpretentious book is in fact a sophisticated response to 9/11 and a delicately woven meditation on love and war.
Hirsh Sawhney, TLS
[An] exemplary first novel ... a book that whets your appetite for another one.
Archie Bland, Spectator
Elina Hirvonen's first novel, When I Forgot, shows how a family can suffer from the mental illness of one member. Her book, which has become the most translated debut novel in Finnish history, illuminates a dark corner of Finnish society ... There could be no better setting for a story of bitter love. Finland's granite tundra inspired its national epic, The Kalevala, where light comes into a darkened world, and the often brooding music of Sibelius: it is a country of savage elements and ethereal beauty. Hirvonen uses the setting to illustrate her flawed characters, the pristine Helsinki streets with their "stuccoed houses, tiny bars and delis", setting them in relief. For Hirvonen, the contrast between the idealised Finland and its imperfect reality is not physical but psychological - but it says something about the country that a novel exploring one of its greatest problems can double as a tourist brochure.