Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2010.
In a remote, piney wood in Finland stands a convalescent hospital called Suvanto. Is is the early twentieth century and the patients, all women, seek relief from ailments real and imagined. The upper floors house foreign women of privilege, tended to by Sunny Taylor, an American who has fled an ill-starred life, only to retreat behind a mask of crisp professionalism.
On a late summer’s day, a new patient arrives on Sunny’s ward, a faded, irascible former ballroom-dance instructor named Julia Dey. Sunny takes it upon herself to pierce the mystery of Julia’s reserve, but soon Julia’s tightly coiled anger places her at the centre of the ward’s tangled life…
An eerily brilliant, psychologically sharp take on the Bacchae set in a 1920s Finnish sanatorium -- Adrian Turpin * Herald, Christmas round up * A beautiful, edgy and captivating novel -- Victoria Moore * Daily Mail * This scary, peculiar story of institutionalised women is immaculately handled and builds to a disturbing but inevitable climax * The Times * A gem; weird, vivid and acrobatic, its intricacies are sophisticated, its stance beguiling and complex. This is a writer of real power and aplomb -- Lucy Ellmann * Guardian * Exceptional... more than simply an exercise in chilling atmospherics... Chapman takes the women's - often seemingly petty - hopes and fears, and creates a fascinating portrait of group consciousness. A psychologically unnerving, elusive and readable book * Financial Times *
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