Sharon has lived calmly in Chinook Springs, Washington, her entire life. All that changes when her best friend of twenty years, Penny, takes an impulsive trip to seek out her only living relatives in Finland, and brings Sharon with her. The land of reindeer and saunas holds infinite varieties of zaniness for these two unlikely friends, Sharon is a quiet mother of four and Penny was a motorcycle mama before she came to Christ, who return home with a new view of God, a new zest for life, and a big impact on those around them for decades to come.More
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Fun plot and fun characters
Reader needed a Finnish accent lesson
In August 1982, when fictional Penny first proposed she and Sharon go to Finland, I was actually on my way there to spend a year as an exchange student. As such, I know the country and people well (I lived 30 minutes from Porvoo where Penny's aunt lives). What drove me crazy was the weird accent the narrator was doing. It wasn't remotely like a Finnish accent. The intonation and stresses were all completely wrong, as were the pronunciations of several key Finnish words (like sauna!). It was something like a bastardized Swedish-Norwegian- very aggravating.
The story was charming and the characters were familiar to me: those poor, sweet women with their small worlds that spin around church and their children. The message to do something to grow yourself away from the kids is so important. Step out of your comfort zone. Learn a new language. Meet people with a different perspective on the world.