I daresay that a lot of people who visit a certain Swedish home store feel overwhelmed and lost as they wander from set piece to set piece before they finally find their way out, hours later. At LitenVärld, a similar gigantic operation that serves as the setting for Nino Cipri’s highly entertaining Finna, customers and employees who become lost in the store run the risk of walking through wormholes to LitenVärlds in other universes.
Ava and Jules (who have recently broken up) are beginning one of the most challenging and dangerous days in their careers at LitenVäld. Both of them hate their jobs at the hyper-capitalistic corporation and loathe the way that all of the room sets clash with each other. (Ava and Jules have their own names for these rooms, like Nihilistic Bachelor Pad.) Ava is also trying to avoid Jules because it hurts too much to see them (Jules uses they/them pronouns) and remember their arguments. They might have been able to cope with their problems if it hadn’t been for the grandmother who got lost through a wormhole. Jules and a reluctant Ava are dispatched to bring her back. Failing that, they are to bring back an approximate representation of the missing grandmother from somewhere in the multiverse.
Finna is a short book that breezes by as Ava and Jules are almost eaten by furniture and hive clones while they stubbornly search for the lost grandmother. Along the way, the weirdness is grounded by Ava reprising some of her arguments with Jules. The relationship between the two seems so real that it was easy to roll with the weirder parts of the novel. It also kept me guessing about what would happen between the two of them if they managed to achieve their objective and survive the dangers of the bizarre universes they travel through.
I really liked this little gem of a story and I am already making a mental list of readers I want to recommend it to. Readers who like their stories a little bit off the wall, original, but featuring believable characters should run, not walk, to pick up a copy of Finna.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.