23 June 2022
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
and to Random Things Tours for the invitation to be part of the blog tour
Teenager Sally has just run away from a clinic where she is to be treated for anorexia. She’s furious with everything and everyone, and wants to be left in peace. Liss is in her forties, living alone on a large farm that she runs single handedly. She has little contact with the outside world, and no need for other people. From their first meeting, Sally realises that Liss isn’t like other adults; she expects nothing of Sally and simply accepts who she is, offering her a bed for the night with no questions asked. The first night lengthens into weeks as Sally starts to find pleasure in working with the bees, feeding the chickens, and harvesting potatoes. Eventually an unlikely friendship develops and these two damaged women slowly open up – connecting to each other, reconnecting with themselves, and facing the darkness in their pasts through their shared work on the land.
A gorgeous, much needed story of friendship across generations, of love and acceptance, of the power of nature to heal and transform, and the goodness that surrounds us, if only we take time to see it… Tasting Sunlight is an achingly beautiful, profound and uplifting novel that will slow you down, and draw your view on the essential and most important things about life. 'A triumph' Nurnberger Zeitung
📖 My Review...
On the surface, Sally and Liss are unlikely companions. Teenager, Sally has recently run away from a clinic where she is being treated for anorexia, whilst forty-something Liss lives and works on her farm, quietly going about her days, with no need for any intrusion from the outside world. Liss is entirely comfortable with the beauty, and adaptability of nature, whilst Sally is all spikes and ridges and yet seeking shelter, and with no questions asked by Liss, Sally is given refuge and solace, finding her own rhythms in the daily activities on the farm, learning about nature, the importance of friendship and the comfort of finding your place in the world.
With well crafted skill, we are emotionally drawn into the relationship between Liss and Sally, we start to learn of their individual backgrounds, the sadness they each conceal from other people and the journey they must both make to discover what's truly important. Filled with the scents, sights and sensations of rural life I felt immersed in the natural world, learning how to harvest, and mash, sugar, sweet pears, how to remove sticky mites from bees, and alongside Sally, I gathered potatoes until my back ached.
Beautifully translated from German by Rachel Ward, Ewald Arenz's unique story-telling skills are revealed in this wonderfully, descriptive story, which warms the heart and brings this rural backdrop to life in all its uncomplicated glory.
🍵Best Read with ...a cup of tea, sweetened with summer honey
About the Author
Ewald Arenz was born in Nurnberg in 1965, where he now teaches. He has won various national and regional awards for literature; among them the Bavarian State Prize for Literature and the great Nuremberg Prize for Literature. One of seven children, he enjoys nature, woodturning, biking, swimming, and drinking tea. He lives with his family in Germany.
Twitter @EwaldArenz #TastingSunlight #JubilantJune