Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Tasting Sunlight by Ewald Arenz BLOG TOUR #TastingSunlight @EwaldArenz t. @FwdTranslations @OrendaBooks #JubilantJune #BookReview


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 be Ewald Arenz is published in paperback by Orenda Books on 23 June 2022. It is translated from the German by Rachel Ward. I read and reviewed this one some months ago, and am delighted to share that review again today as part of this Blog Tour 

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. 

A stupendous debut. A triumph. Don’t miss it’
Louisa Treger

‘Tasting Sunlight reminded me of reading Sally Rooney's Normal People. It takes a writer of immeasurable talent to make you feel that intensely, merely by evoking ripening late summer fruit and the sound of rain on dusty ground’
Elizabeth Haynes

‘A sensory joy; a novel of quiet, understated beauty … Original, luminous and intense, it’s a mesmerising read'
Iona Gray
'Powerful, original and engaging. I loved it'
Susie Boyt
***Over 400,000 copies sold in Germany***
***Longlisted for the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize***
***THREE YEARS on the German Bestseller List***

‘Written with beautiful simplicity, this sensitive and profound story examines how we heal and help each other, delivered with deep insight and huge heart’
Doug Johnstone
‘A truly special book. Powerful, lyrical and profoundly affecting, Ewald Arenz spins a tale of friendship, restoration and possibility, with utmost heart and care. I loved it!’
Miranda Dickinson
‘An exquisitely written, heart-warming story  … the smells, tastes, sounds and rhythms of nature are described with sensuous clarity, so you feel as if you are there, picking potatoes from the earth, tending the bees, and tasting the pears. Just beautiful!’
Gill Paul
‘Told with honesty and a clear-sighted understanding of human nature … I loved it’
Michael J. Malone
'The simple minutiae of everyday life becomes intricate and essential: rituals that connect one woman to the land and her heritage, and show a lost, younger one a different truth. Moving and heart-wrenching, but ultimately uplifting'
Carol Lovekin
‘Breathtakingly beautiful'
Louise Beech

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

No comments:

Post a Comment