Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto

Front Cover
Jonathan Cape, 2010 - Americans - 263 pages
6 Reviews
In a remote, piney wood in Finland stands a convalescent hospital called Suvanto, a curving concrete example of austere Scandinavian design. It is the 1920s, and the patients, all women, seek relief from ailments real and imagined. On the lower floors are the stoic Finnish women; on the upper floors are foreign women of privilege - the 'up-patients'. They are tended to by head nurse Sunny Taylor, an American who has fled an ill-starred life only to retreat behind a mask of crisp professionalism. On a late-summer 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. Soon, Julia's difficulty, her tightly coiled anger, places her at the centre of the ward's tangled emotional life. As summer turns to autumn, and autumn to a long, dark winter, the patients hear rumours about changes being implemented at Suvanto by an American obstetrician, Dr. Peter Weber, who is experimenting with a new surgical stitch. Their familiar routine threatened, the women are not happy (they were not happy before), and the story's escalating menace builds to a terrifying conclusion.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

Maile Chapman's dark and surprising first novel, YOUR PRESENCE IS REQUESTED AT SUVARNO, is a slow-burning cauldron of evil. I had never heard of Chapman, but she is obviously a young woman wise beyond ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - porch_reader - LibraryThing

Set in Finland in the 1920s, Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto takes us into life at a convalescent hospital. Sunny Taylor is an American nurse in charge of the patients on a floor where the ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Maile Chapman's stories have appeared in A Public Space, Literary Review, the Mississippi Review, and Post Road. She earned her MFA from Syracuse University and is currently a Schaeffer Fellow in Fiction at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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