Roy Jacobsen, ‘The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles’

A quiet and under-stated novel about finding our own peace in a world of noise, confusion and evil.

Timo ‘the Idiot’ is the woodcutter who refuses to leave the small town where he was born when the Russians invade Finland. When the Finnish army arrives to make sure everyone has evacuated and to burn down their homes so the invading Soviet Army will find nothing, Timo insists on staying. Timo is sworn at even as others leave: the Russians kill everyone, he is told. He manages to save a couple of homes, tending them even when the Russians arrive.

The homes he has saved become a refuge for the forced-labour that the Russians have brought with them and in the midst of terrible slaughter, Timo manages to feed and clothe and keep safe the civilains around even when he occasionally falls foul of the Russians and is beaten.

A tale of quiet daring and resolution, this is an inspirational tale in the tradition of Paulo Coelho and Nevil Shute.

Link to Amazon.

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