Thursday 10 March 2022

Tasting Sunlight by Ewald Arenz #TastingSunlight @EwaldArenz t. @FwdTranslations @OrendaBooks #GermanFiction #BookReview


An anorexic teenager escapes from a clinic and forms an unlikely friendship with a farmer. The two damaged women slowly heal as they work the land, in an achingly beautiful debut.
Teenager Sally has just run away from a clinic where she 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.
That night becomes weeks and then months, as 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.
Achingly beautiful, profound, invigorating and uplifting, Tasting Sunlight is a 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 by Ewald Arenz is published by Orenda Books on 23 June 2022. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. It is translated by Rachel Ward

I have been reading books for a very long time; fifty years or so and during that time I have read a lot of books, thousands and thousands of books. 

Every now and again, a book comes along and shakes me to my core. Tasting Sunlight did that to me and this is a book that I will never ever forget. It is not just the story, or the characters, it is the whole reading experience as Arenz masterfully and beautifully reveals these two women to his reader. 

Set in rural Germany, amongst the fields of crops and orchards of fruit, this is a captivating and quite magical story of a most unlikely friendship. It spans the generations and the classes and shows that a true and non judgemental friendship can heal hearts.

Sally has run away, again, from the clinic where she is being treated for anorexia. She meets Liss. Liss lives alone, running the family farm. She's mid forties and says very little.  She does not judge, or ask questions, she just accepts. Sally intends to stay with Liss for just a few days, but this soon turns into weeks and these two extraordinary females slowly but surely get to know each other.

The writing is simple and is filled with the the magic of nature. As Liss teaches Sally about the ripening and harvesting of pears, to the care of bee hives and the collecting of a potato crop, the reader is totally captivated and enchanted. Whilst simply written, the story is multi layered and complex and this author has done an incredible job with character creation; the reader instantly loves both of them. It becomes the reader's ineluctable fate to become part of this novel themselves, to urge these women along and to discover the truths of their existence. 

Tasting Sunlight is the perfect story for our time. It is uplifting and healing. The novel pulsates with the tastes and smells of nature and Sally and Liss' own stories linger within the head for so long afterwards. It is perfectly translated by Rachel Ward.

Truly exceptional, a novel with heart and with characters and setting that are alluring, beautifully created and totally enchanting. 

Ewald Arenz, born in Nürnberg in 1965, studied English and American literature and history. 

He is a teacher at a secondary school in Nürnberg. 

His novels and plays have received many awards. 

Ewald lives near Fürth with his family.

Twitter @EwaldArenz

Rachel Ward is a freelance translator of literary and creative texts from German and French to
Having always been an avid reader and enjoyed word games and puzzles, she discovered a flair for languages at school and went on to study modern languages at the University of East Anglia.
She spent the third year working as a language assistant at two grammar schools in Saaebrücken, Germany.
During her final year, she realised that she wanted to put these skills and passions to use professionally and applied for UEA’s MA in Literary Translation, which she completed in 2002.

Her published translations include Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang and Red Rage by Brigitte Blobel, and she is a Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

Twitter @FwdTranslations

No comments:

Post a Comment