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 singlehandedly. 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
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. #TastingSunlight #JubilantJune @EwaldArenz
My thoughts: this is a rather strange but beautiful love story. Sally runs away from the mental health unit her parents have sent her to, and finds shelter on Liss’ family farm. Both women are wounded and lonely, together they slowly start to heal.
But Sally’s parents and the authorities are looking for her, and in finding her they drag up Liss’ sad, painful past. This time Sally will be the one helping Liss recover and move on. Their bond is fragile, and the farm is full of complicated memories, but among the pear trees and vines, there is the gentle hope for the future.
Moving, tender and bittersweet, I was swept up into the world Liss and Sally create for themselves as they harvest the fruit and go about their daily chores. The outside world brings them pain so they seek to hide from it. Something I think we can all relate to at times.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.