Title: We Sinners
Author: Hanna Pylvainen
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Source: amazon vine Setting: US/Michigan and Finland
Date Completed: February - 2013
Rather extreme religious fundamentalism is ground on which the novel, We Sinners is built. Its a story of the Rovianiemi clan, a large family from Finland (nine siblings), who reside in the US and are members of a called ultra conservative religious sect called: Laestadianism, a branch of the Lutheran Church. Although the story is a work of fiction, the author was raised in a similar household as this family with its very strict rules. The norm is, no television, no popular music, no birth control, no alcohol, regular religious practice and hymn singing, conservative dress, no dances, no nail polish, yet, oddly, swearing seems to be commonplace at home.
The story is told through the family members, with individual chapters devoted to each, including the parents Warren and Pirjo. All of the family members are very close because of the way they were raised, but as they reach maturity, they begin making their own choices about the life they want to lead. Themes such as identity, sexuality, temptation, love and faith are addressed as the siblings tell their stories. It's a story the demonstrates how religion when taken to extremes has the potential of possibly tearing families apart.