The Girl in Gray


1939: Finland is at war with Russia. Sini Toivola prepares dinner for Dr. Marko Linna, just arriving back home from military training. Sini dreams of having a life with him, but Marko never shows. The following day he tells Sini he spent the evening with Leila Kallio, whom he has loved since childhood. Heartbroken, Sini renews her membership in the Dorra Svard, a volunteer women’s group helping with the war effort. While on assignment, she helps in the kitchen, but also assists in the infirmary. Here she meets the infamous Leila, and she is everything that Marko described. They become instant friends. Meanwhile, Dr. Linna has been assigned to the infantry, where his mission is to kill. He is in a quandary because a doctor is to “do no harm.” After saving his commander’s life, he is granted a transfer. Will he be assigned to a field hospital? Will he meet up with Leila and Sini? Will they all survive this heinous war?

“The Girl in Gray” is a story about the unrequited loves of Marko and Sini, and how they adapt. It also showcases the hell that is war and describes it in grisly detail. The story begins slowly with much detail.  The ending is rather abrupt leaving the reader with several questions.  There were many secondary characters that fleshed out the story, but have no depth, just a name. During the second half of the story things really start to snowball and happen fast and furiously. Characters are described in exquisite detail, and we can imagine each of them vividly. A haunting story, “The Girl in Gray” will not be soon forgotten.

Belinda Wilson