Annastiina Storm: We Are Filled with Light

Who is to decide which story is true?

Author: Annastiina Storm
Finnish original: Me täytytään valosta
Publisher: S&S, 2017
Genre: Literary fiction
Number of pages:  200 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample

Big sister Silja’s Rapunzel Barbie has had acid thrown on her face. Little brother, who was never born, talks to Santtu on a yoghurt pot telephone. Father disappears, leaving the children by themselves. Grandma hopes that granddad dies as she feels she has not been able to live her life, but then a miracle happens when she is adding the final touches to her pies.

We Are Filled with Light is a novel about a family where everything is not as it should be. The adults are feeling bad, the children are frightened. The text, narrated by several voices, is woven from short extracts from the family’s story: of fairytales, children’s voices and the silence of the adults – but also of cheerful incidents. The combination breathes in tune with the rhythm of the story. The pressure of the thunder storm builds up towards the final eruption; the storm gathers force as a promise of freedom.

Annastiina Storm’s debut novel speaks of personal growth and overcoming fear; of people who do not meet each other and of how to narrate emptiness full of love. The novel was shortlisted for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize.

“In Storm’s narration fairytales are intertwined with descriptions
of real life. The combination works, the rhythm grabs you with it.
The novel is unputdownable. […] Despite its theme Storm’s debut
is not thoroughly distressing, as it also offers comfort and hope. […]
I would like this novel with its clear language, universal themes,
rhythm and opportunities for identification make its way to as
many hands as possible.”  – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Also available:
Mirror, Mirror (2019)

About the author:
Annastiina Storm