About the book, The Taste of Apple Seeds
• Paperback: 256 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 4, 2014)
The internationally bestselling tale of love, loss, and memories that run deep
When Iris unexpectedly inherits her grandmother’s house in the country, she also inherits the painful memories that live there. Iris gives herself a one-week stay at the old house, after which she’ll make a decision: keep it or sell it. The choice is not so simple, though, for her grandmother’s cottage is an enchanting place, where currant jam tastes of tears, sparks fly from fingertips, love’s embrace makes apple trees blossom, and the darkest family secrets never stay buried. . .
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About the Author, Katharina Hagena
Katharina Hagena is the author of On Sleep and Disappearing. She lives in Hamburg, Germany.
If I were asked to describe this book, I’d say it’s a blend of Like Water for Chocolate and Tales of Hoffmann, which latter is a collection of classic fairy tales with a decidedly Teutonic sensibility. I use this description with affection, because from the first page, I was completely entranced.
I’m not certain whether Hagena writes in English, or if this is a translation, but either way, the language puts the reader into a sort of dreamlike state, where everything is soft-focus and just a little bit off-kilter. Not disconnected, just not quite plumb.
I liked, especially, the character of Iris, from whose perspective we experience this book, but I also liked her Buddhist monk aunt, and the rest of her extended family.
As someone who has always loved rambling old houses, and who absolutely believes that houses (and all buildings) retain a bit of the essence of their inhabitants, I also fell in love with Iris’s inherited house. Sure, there was bitterness and sadness there, but there was also love, hope, and not a little magic, and without the darkness, what is light?
The Taste of Apple Seeds is not a fairy tale. It’s a contemporary novel laced with just enough magical realism to make you smell the fruit, and feel the breeze, and taste the buttercake.
In short, it’s wonderful, and I loved it.
Goes well with Earl Grey tea and a slice of lemon pound cake.
This review is part of a virtual book tour. For more information, visit the tour page by clicking here.