John Raikkonen


RE: An immigrant story unlike any you have ever read before


My name is John Raikkonen. I would like to share with you my exciting new memoir, Life is an Amazing Song, about my life growing up in Finland during the Finnish-Russian war, from 1942 to 1945 and beyond. One reader described it this way: “a very humorous and still serious tale…this book left me wanting for more.”

It is a poignant story of a young boy’s experience during the war at his grandparents’ farm in Oulu, North Finland and later in Orsa in the Dalarna region of Sweden. The fear and trauma of war are captured in a story that is nevertheless both touching and sentimental.

He finally returned to his mother, sister and brother in South Finland. It was a happy and somewhat awkward homecoming after a seven year absence. Compared to the comfortable life his grandparents had provided, he now had to cope with the challenges of a hardscrabble life and bone grinding poverty. Food was scarce. They lived in a tiny firetrap apartment building. His mother struggled valiantly to put food on the table with her meager salary as a prison guard.

His father returned from the war and immediately announced that he wanted a divorce, after which, he disappeared from their life without any financial support. And so the struggle went on.

Eventually good fortune shined on the desperate little family when Mother regained her old position at the internationally famous resort Hotel Aulanko. The family moved to the hotel’s premises into a solid and large log cabin. Life was now bright with promise for the whole family. The hotel years were exciting and uplifting. Life was beautiful again.

As a poor boy from a war torn country what happened to him next, at seventeen, was truly a “miracle.” A hotel guest, a lonely, rich widower invited him to go to America. As his sponsor this remarkable individual provided him with all travel and living expenses, plus schooling in Philadelphia.

The young man embraced his new life in America with vigor- eventually becoming a successful businessman. America truly was “the land of opportunity” just as he had dreamed it to be.

This thrilling memoir is steeped in the tradition of Angela’s Ashes, My Life as a Dog (Swedish book) and a hint of Tom Sawyer.

For more information, please visit my web page: and be sure to tell your friends about “Life is an Amazing Song.” They are sure to thank you for it!

All my best,

John Raikkonen

P.S. As the author it is my honor to autograph all copies of the book.

Where to find John Raikkonen online

Where to buy in print


Price: $16.95 USD. Words: 480. Language: English. Published: May 21, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
The Finnish immigrant's story. His life during the Finnish-Russian war and after. He arrives to Amerika at age 17 The book has received several 5 star ratings. It is a wonderful and enchanting story.

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