By Susanna Alakoski

In Cotton Angel we follow the story of young farmer’s daughter Hilda who is thrown out from her family’s comfortable homestead in Ostrobothnia, Finland, when her father finds out that she has fallen pregnant out of wedlock.

Hilda is forced to toil as a maid on a farm not far from her home. Here she meets the colourful and vibrant Helli and the two women become the very best of friends. They dream of a new life in the nearby city working at the great cotton factory.

Cotton will be their way out, at the same time a blessing and a new shackle.

Susanna Alakoski’s Cotton Angel is a powerful novel about the exposure girls endure, about female friendships and women’s constant thirst for knowledge. It is a story about how the times that we live in can determine our lives far more than the choices we are ever able to make.


First published by Natur & Kultur fall of 2019


Sweden, Natur och Kultur


A literary masterpiece […] Perkele, what a fantastic novel Susanna Alakoski has written!
T T T T T – Tara

A poetic and very strong reading experience about struggle, women’s lives and Finland’s most violent history.
M M M M – M-magasin

Susanna Alakoski’s new literary project is as instantaneously tempting as it is ambitious. […] Alakoski takes a double grip, around the great story and the little life there within […] The take-off is wider than ever before, but Alakoski writes about her recognizable topics in her simple and concrete prose that she is known for. And it is as appealing as always. The literary feast has just begun.
Vi läser

Susanna Alakoski writes about love, desire and joy, and not only about exploitation and poor working conditions. Above all, she gives respect to those people that history books have left without name. Hilda is quietly portrayed in an exquisite way. […] Alakoski manages to introduce world political and economic events, that affect the worker’s, Hilda’s, life, in a natural way. All this put together makes me extremely expectant for the continuation of The Cotton Quartet. I didn’t have the slightest idea of how much I wanted to read about Hilda and her descendents. […] Susanna Alakoski has devoted her authorship to give a voice to the silent (and silenced).

Masterpiece about women who have been silenced […] Susanna Alakoski uses every word that fits in the work at the farm, all the tiresome labour that is demanded and every feeling that is hidden in the persons to give us a story that throbs, stings and aches. […] The tears are falling when I read Susanna Alakoski’s precise prose where she describes her grandmother’s life. Her musical story fills the empty space that has existed until now.
Norrländska socialdemokraten

Susanna Alakoski impresses with unwritten women’s lives […] Susanna Alakoski follows the women with the eyes and the men are brought to life by the meetings with them. She is at her best when describing class and social injustices. There is the heat that keeps the first part in the series burning.   
Dagens Nyheter

… a truly epic story, from an extensive research material, about the women of the poor Finland, about the wars that don’t stop and about the country’s way into the modernity. There’s an industrious and purposeful power when Alakoski writes her own working class literature, and it’s difficult to resist. […] the novel finds its way when Alakoski let the battle take place inside of her main character, she who prefers to write or just be surrounded by niceness and beauty after all the hard work. In Hilda’s silent shame for rather wanting to flip through glamorous magazines from Sweden than to strike for better conditions – in that shame there’s room for an entire century of social conflict.   
Kulturnytt i P1