It felt like ages waiting for another novel of my favorite author Zsuzsa Bánk. I read a lot whenever I have the time and there are many great writers out there I adore, but none of them gives me that goose bump feeling like the german author with Hungarian descent does. Unfortunately she’s not that kind of person you could call a quick writer, there are only three other novels that exist, Der Schwimmer, Heißester Sommer and Die hellen Tage (my favorite one). So I was really, really excited, when I found out that she’s working on a forth title.
Since a few weeks now I try to find a silent moment for grabbing this huge piece of artwork (more than 600 pages) and wrap my thoughts around the story of Márta and Johanna, two former high school friends in their mid-40th, Márta living in Frankfurt, Johanna in the Black forest. You are following their daily life, thoughts and problems by reading their emails, trying to stay in contact after all these years of separating. There is nothing really exciting happening, nonetheless Zsuzsa Bánk has this talent to capture the reader’s imagination.
The melancholic, longing overtone is part of the author’s voice, that’s what I love so much about her books. It’s not about the incidents that happen in the storyline, but about that special feeling you experience while reading. Johanna and Márta are both stuck in their daily lives, there is nothing to complain about but also not enough to love life. Márta feels frustrated about the situation with three little kids at home, Johanna tries to find a way to fill up the emptiness in her heart after a breakup and a fought war against breast cancer. And although I’m not in my 40th, I can really feel both women. Of course this is not a positive, happy little story tale, but also I wouldn’t describe it as negative. Because of it’s honesty and bluntness you have to think a lot about your own life while reading this novel. But that’s exactly what I love about literature, the tiny parts and feelings that left when you flip the last page.
Describing a story without a real story is hard, so I would recommend to read this novel to yourself. What’s your favorite book at the moment? We would love to hear any suggestions – season for reading one novel after another has right started. Happy easter to you guys and lots of love, L