Adonis Diaries

“I won’t go to Tallinn. Ingel would have added more salt to the sauce…” Book Review

Posted on: February 10, 2013

“I won’t go to Tallinn. Ingel would have added more salt to the sauce…”

That’s what Aliide read in the last diary of Hans , the husband of her elder sister Ingel.

“There are forests and cultivated spaces in the Capital Tallinn (Estonia). There are moments I feel the urge to direct my Walther at Liide. My head is completely clear after so many years of depression…”

Hans had promised Aliide to use the passport under a faked name in order to get established in Tallinn, where no one recognizes people.

Aliide planned it all to the minute details, and she was promising herself to be walking together freely in Tallinn, Hans all for herself, finally.

Aliide had even started to coat her hands with goose fat to soften her skin, and chew on charcoal to whiten her teeth… She was sewing a modern dress…

And Hans decided instead to run away to the forest to join the resistance “Brothers of the Forest“. And he was ambushed, injured and returned home and fainted.

Aliide realized that she was not to go for walks at the Door of Viru, arm in arm with Hans… Hans has promised her. Aliide cried her eyes out: All that energy and effort invested to keep Hans close by…All thesesleepless nights, atrophied life due to the constant fear that Hans will be discovered and executed.

All the inventive and pragmatic schemes she handled to keep the investigators at bay, marrying a high-level communist to facilitate her status as a normal married person, encouraging her husband martin to dispatch her sister Ingel and daughter Linda to Siberia so that she may return to her home and take care personally of Hans, hidden in the storage room and other places in the house…

Cooking for Hans, imitating Ingel’s handwriting and sending Hans faked cheerful letters from Siberia… Ingel and Linda in good health, having some good times, and recollecting the happy memories…

Bringing dailies for Hans to read, baking fresh bread for Hans, securing the necessary brandy, the medicines needed, washing Hans soiled clothes… Every day for years… Hansd having nobody else to care for him and getting him out of the confinement if not for Aliide. All that energy and effort for naught

Hans never looked at Aliide as someone capable of maintaining a family and a house: Ingel was all on his mind.

And Aliide realized that she barely looked straight at Hans’ eyes, and it was reciprocal.

And yet, she was the one who noticed first Hans and fell in love at first sight when she was 12 and Ingel 17.

It was Ingel whom Hans loved, married, begot Linda and never could forget Ingel… Aliide was pretty much invisible to Hans.

And Ingel was the perfect woman, the perfect cook, who smelt fresh, happy, and energetic no matter what.

Ingel was the perfect match, and Aliide almost useless in the kitchen, in the field, in taking care of the cows…

Aliide had to learn everything from Ingel to run a house and prepare for the long winter season. But Ingel lacked this pragmatic mind to resolve dangerous situations…

Ingel had to rely on Aliide to come up with solutions and keep the family safe and sound.

And Aliide suffered tortures from the security services and never talked that Hans is still alive…

Hans had lost consciousness and Aliide trampled his shoulders but he didn’t move. She poured sleeping medicines in Hans’s mouth.

Aliide tied Hans hands and feet. She covered Hans and kissed him on the mouth. She carried him back to the hiding place in the storage area.

She closed the door and glued the door, and she blocked the aeration holes. Returned the cupboard to its place and cleaned the kitchen of blood and...

Thirty years later, Aliide was to meet Zara, the granddaughter of Hans and Ingel, and saved her from the mafia gangsters who used her as a sex slave in Germany…

And Aliide would lay down next to the skeletal of Hans and have the house burned down by the chauvinist adolescents in the town…

Note 1: From “Purge” by Sofi Oksanen, translated in French

Note 2: Read part 1.

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February 2013

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