Shimmering with the incandescence and irresistible magic of the novels of Alice Hoffman, Joanne Harris, and Aimee Bender, Katharina Hagena's smash international bestseller, The Taste of Apple Seeds, is a story of love and loss that will captivate your heart.
When Iris unexpectedly inherits her grandmother's house in the country, she also inherits the painful memories that linger there. Should she keep it or sell it? The choice is not easy, for the cottage is a place of enchantment and sensual mystery where currant jam tastes of tears, blue sparks crackle at the touch of fingertips, love makes apple trees bloom - and dark secrets pulsate in the house's nooks and shadows...
The Taste of Apple Seeds
Great-aunt Anna died from pneumonia when she was sixteen. They couldn't cure it because her heart was broken and penicillin hadn't yet been invented. It happened late one July afternoon. Anna's younger sister, Bertha, ran howling into the garden and saw that with Anna's rattling, dying breath all the red currants in the garden had turned white. It was a large garden; the scores of old currant bushes groaned under the heavy weight of the fruit. They should have been picked long before, but when Anna fell ill nobody gave a thought to the berries. My grandmother often told me this story, because it was she who had discovered the currants in mourning. Since that time there had only ever been black currants and white currants in my grandmother's garden, and every attempt to plant a red bush had failedonly white berries would grow on the stems. But nobody minded: the white ones tasted almost as sweet as the red, when you ...
Hagena’s lyricism is richly rewarding. Her account, in Iris’s voice, of grandmother Bertha’s sliding into dementia is beautiful and sad, and seems piercingly true-to-life...But the real core of the book is its sensuality, the unexpected tastes and sights and sounds that it evokes, like the surprising taste of marzipan in the seeds of a Boskoop apple.
(Reviewed by Jennifer G Wilder).
Full Review (568 words).
Katharina Hagena has set The Taste of Apple Seeds in a rural corner of northwest Germany, in the fictional farming village of Bootshaven. Geographical clues in the novel place Bootshaven in the state of Lower Saxony, in the North German plain region south of Hamburg and north of Bremen. It's a terrain not unlike the low-lying plains of neighboring Holland. The land is flat and fertile, with sand beneath a layer of peaty loam. Hagena calls it a "rain-soaked" place, full of rivers, lakes, canals, locks, and millponds.
The architectural heritage of the region includes a smattering of Dutch-style windmills, one of which makes it into the book as a museum. The historic farmhouses of the region are lovely to look at and have a long ...
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