Villi Ruusu – The Wild Rose

The flowers in the photograph on the front page are very significant to my life and to Eva and the Irishman, the adult historic romance series I have written. They are wild rose, in Finnish, villi ruusu. It’s the nickname my father was given as a preschooler. He was a beautiful child with blond curly hair, yet according to him, he was always giving my grandmother a tough time. His outward cuteness belied his naughty streak. When he was growing up quite often he was in my grandfather’s dog house, so to speak.

In Eva and the Irishman series, mother, daughter, and granddaughter – three generations of strong women are given that name because they all have traits of outward beauty, but I exchanged the naughtiness with a streak of outspokenness, brilliance, and determination. Most of all, the wild rose in this series symbolizes resilience in this large family. Each generation, starting with Eva, have given Villi Ruusu unique meaning with how resilient they become facing their particular adversity. The men of the series, archetypal heroes, show dogged resilience facing their trials growing up with the wise guidance of Liam Dady, Eva’s soul mate.

As the series expanded, the wild rose has become the symbol of the whole series, since all bestowed with that nickname and those who were raised or influenced by a Villi Ruusu are keenly remarkable in their spirit. The Finns also use the term Suomi Sisu, which means in-born intestinal fortitude and perseverance. Eva talks of this Sisu throughout the series.