Jenni Linturi: Reconstruction

A shattering book on motherly love and the weight that previous generations lay on the next.

Author: Jenni Linturi
Finnish original: Jälleenrakennus
Publisher: Teos, 2017
Number of pages: 232 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample

The war between Finland and the Soviet Union has just ended. Two brothers, Kalevi and Olavi, return from the front back to their home in Malmi, near Helsinki. The war has been too much for Kalevi, who is taken to a mental asylum. There he is submitted to the most progressive treatment methods of the time.

Kalevi’s mother Ingeborg worries over her son, while his aunt Elisabeth is ashamed. Kalevi is to be a new pawn in the two sisters’ game of rancour and mutual dependence that has been simmering beneath the surface for years.

“[The novel  ] challenges its reader to fill out the space betweenthe lines and won’t leave you in peace.”
– Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

“Linturi makes the inconsolable reality and melancholy bearable because in between lines there is a glow of a deep, soft understanding.”
– Aamulehti newspaper

“The events of the novel a part of a bigger picture in Finnish history, but Linturi doesn’t magnify them – she condenses, writes with small things in focus and puts her soul into the moments, visions, details and the feelings beneath the surface. Her choice works and it gets power when scanty action and dialogue get combined to a language that is rich and flows like a prose poem.”
– Savon Sanomat newspaper

Also available:
For Fatherland (Isänmaan tähden, 2011)
Malmi, 1917 (Malmi, 1917, 2013)

About the author:
Jenni Linturi