Masco: I am eternally grateful that I got caught and the Health Authority rehabilitated me. I'm also grateful that the awful, nasty stuff is illegal now. Capsaicin addiction is forever -- you can't ever get away from it -- but now I have a life worth living. (Meaningful pause) In clean pants...
The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo, is unlike any book I've ever read. Set in an alternate, Finnish, dystopian future (actually most of the journal entries/letters are set in 2016), Vanna is looking for her sister. She's a woman forced to pretend she's a socially acceptable, useless woman (Eloi) hiding in a world of dignified, infertile ignorants (Morlocks) while dealing with a chili pepper addiction that's a major offense against the Eusistocratic Republic of Finland.
Through flashbacks, journal entries and letters to Vanna's sister, Manna, in a world fashioned from H. G. Wells' Time Machine along with eugenics, (a word I learned from Wayward Pines). Women are either Eloi, who are considered ignorant but capable of being molded into perfect, domesticated companions, who will have babies, serve up meals and take care of home or Morlocks- the ones who are infertile, too smart for their own good and rebel-rousers! Vanna is the latter. She fits the bill and knows it, but her only goals in life are to keep the cellar from flooding (the raising of her capsaicin addiction -chili peppers) and to find out what happened to her sister.
The quote I placed at the beginning of this review was from a film shown to the Eloi through the Health Authority (one of the governing divisions of the futuristic society). A man described his addiction to chili peppers and how he even played manly games, Roulette, with peppers before becoming hooked. It's so freaking hilarious, I had to add it in. But this book is about so much more. It's a retelling of Vanna's life. Her life before and after chili peppers, as well as before and after she lost her sister to such a strait-laced way of life.
Oppressive as the world is, Vanna finds a way of dealing. She eats, drinks and tests chili peppers. I won't say how she checks the peppers, but the story is the oddest, strangest and thought-provoking tale I've ever read. Many times I wanted to get mad- and I can't tell you why. SPOILERS! I don't know if anything was lost in the translation from Finnish to English, but I would love to know. It was a book I'll never forget! A good author stirs emotions, even on the fakest of fictional tales; Sinisalo worked me.
On to the next read!📚
Ratings: 👓👓👓 of 5 specs
*The Dead Boy is next.
**Book is from my personal library, for an honest review.
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