The eleven stories collected in this volume are extremely heterogeneous in terms of length, setting and types of character, but share an almost obsessive concern with the smallest details of daily life – details which, while apparently banal, almost always hold the secret strength of changing their characters’ lives.
Such, for example, is the case with Judith, looking back to her last year at school, with the forty-something journalist Katrin, travelling the world in search of interesting stories yet constantly yearning for somebody to miss her at home, or with the elderly overseer of a New Zealand apple plantation besotted with his youngest and best worker.
The volume becomes progressively more interesting and gripping, each story adding meaning to those that follow. Two crown the rest – one set in war-ravaged Bosnia, the other describing the suicide attempt of a German teenager, who tragically discovers the beauty of life when it is too late. Together they allow the reader to indulge in philosophical speculations or just plunge into an entertaining, intelligent and enriching reading experience as he or she may prefer. Highly recommended.
All recommendations from Autumn 2008