What You Can See from Here

A Novel

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Pub Date 22 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 22 Jun 2021

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Description

In this international bestseller by the award-winning novelist Mariana Leky, a heartwarming story unfolds about a small town, a grandmother whose dreams foretell a coming death, and the young woman forever changed by these losses and her loving, endearingly oddball community

On a beautiful spring day, a small village wakes up to an omen: Selma has dreamed of an okapi. Someone is about to die.

Luisa, Selma’s ten-year-old granddaughter, looks on as the predictable characters of her small world begin acting strangely. Though they claim not to be superstitious, each of her neighbors newly grapples with buried secrets and deferred decisions that have become urgent in the face of death.

Luisa’s mother struggles to decide whether to end her marriage. An old family friend, known only as the optician, tries to find the courage to tell Selma he loves her. Only sad Marlies remains unchanged, still moping around her house and cooking terrible food. But when the prophesied death finally comes, the circumstances fall outside anyone’s expectations. The loss forever changes Luisa and shapes her for years to come, as she encounters life’s great questions alongside her devoted friends, young and old.

A story about the absurdity of life and death, a bittersweet portrait of small towns and the wider world that beckons beyond, this charmer of a novel is also a thoughtful meditation on the way loss and love shape not just a person but a community. Mariana Leky’s What You Can See from Here is a moving tale of grief, first love, reluctant love, late love, and finding one’s place in the world, even if that place is right where you started.

In this international bestseller by the award-winning novelist Mariana Leky, a heartwarming story unfolds about a small town, a grandmother whose dreams foretell a coming death, and the young woman...


Advance Praise

I loved this novel truly, madly, deeply. It has been a real darling of a book in Germany for readers across generations. I am jealous of all the new readers who will have the chance to discover Mariana Leky’s exciting new voice and the joy of meeting the fabulous ensemble she has conjured in What You Can See from Here.” —NINA GEORGE, bestselling author of The Book of Dreams and The Little Paris Bookshop

“Effervescent, tender, and realistically absurd—an utterly charming depiction of life, death, love, and the people who help us through it all. What You Can See from Here is exactly the kind of novel I am ever hoping to discover.” —JULIET GRAMES, author of The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna

A small treasure. This is no ordinary novel. . . [with] highly poetic yet unpretentious language. . . and affectionately depicted, peculiar characters. The final chapter did, in fact, bring tears to my eyes. I strongly recommend this novel to anyone interested in literature.” —BENEDICT WELLS, author of The End of Loneliness

I loved this novel truly, madly, deeply. It has been a real darling of a book in Germany for readers across generations. I am jealous of all the new readers who will have the chance to discover...


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Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780374288822
PRICE $27.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 159 members


Featured Reviews

Everything is set in motion when Selma dreams of an okapi. Whenever this unusual mammal appears in her dreams, someone inevitably dies in the next 24 hours. Taking place in a small German village in 1983, the first part of the book deals with the aftermath of the dream told from the perspective of Luisa, Selma's 10-year-old granddaughter. Selma's dream spreads like wildfire and frightens the community. Who is going to die? Superstitions prevail in the village and nobody doubts that Death will come. The close-knit community is like a family. They rely on each other, look out for each other. When Death comes, there is a strong sense of solidarity and support within the village. Nobody is left behind. The second part follows Luisa as she enters adulthood and falls in love for the first time. She remains attached to the village and continues to be an active part of the community. In the third part, time is condensed. The novel starts slow. During childhood, time stretches lazily. It continues to build up speed until it's racing through the years towards the end. The reader senses the urgency, the impossibility of stopping time. The novel is funny, playful, and creative both through language and imagery. It's a Bildungsroman, Luisa's coming of age in a loving, small community. It's an exploration of grief, love, and the meaning of life. It's the story of an okapi, an omen of death in Selma's dreams. Ultimately, it's the story of a community so beautifully brought to life that the characters feel like real people. It made me think of Anne of Green Gables and her beautiful village, Avonlea. I highly recommend it!

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The cover attracted me; the description decided me; the novel itself blew me away. The book blurb on Goodreads definitely does not do the whole book justice, and the one on NetGalley may come close but does not give a full picture of the book, either. The focus of the blurb is on the first third of the book: Selma has dreamed of an okapi; the last two times she did that, someone died, and everyone in the village expects the third time to be no different. After the events surrounding the okapi's death ended, I somehow expected the novel to start wrapping itself up despite there being a good 300 pages still left – after all, wasn't the book's main focus supposed to be the death caused by Selma's dream? It was not so. There were still two important events in Luisa's life left to explore... and boy, did the author do that well. From beginning to end, the writing was awe-inspiring. Mariana Leky neatly inserted metaphors for all aspects of life, as well as other figures of speech to bring colour to her characters, setting and scene. You can see from how much time and attention each and every single personality in the novel was given that the author loved her characters and was devoted to making her readers love them, too – faults and flaws included. The optician said you can't always choose the adventures you're made for, but I'm glad I chose this book.

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Sometimes it feels just exactly right to have a long, loud cry. And, this novel is the perfect companion. A sweet and oh so sad novel full of compassion and love. <sigh>

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What You Can See From Here by Mariana Leky is an excellent fictional novel that really is unique, entertaining, quirky, and heartwarming through it all. This is the story of a family told over several generations that really drew me in. This edition has been translated from German to English and I really feel that the translation is impressive. The story seems to start off slow, but once I continued onward, it really drew me in and it picked up. Telling of a family in a small German town, the story brings plenty of unique and quirky aspects that really made it memorable and endearing, yet still approachable. Slightly different from some of the typical genres I usually read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am so glad I read it. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

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Provocative tale of relationships, love and the ties that bind, What You Can See From Here by Mariana Leky is a lyrical, almost mystical story. Even when tragedy comes along, the pace of the book is calm and meandering. Intriguing,..I’m glad I read it!

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Mariana Leky has written a warm heartfelt story in What You Can See from Here. Where a multigenerational family finds their way in love, trouble and heartache. And a dashing Buddhist monk awakens a young woman’s heart.

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This book surprised me so much - in a good way! After reading the prologue and the first chapter I was thinking "uh oh, I don't know if I'm going to like this one". I'm glad I kept reading because this was a really good read. Themes of love and loss, denial, community, and life and death are addressed through the interaction and speech of a group of quirky characters who are delightful. The setting is a small village in Germany. The central plot is Luisa's life growing up in the village where she experiences a tragic loss as a 10 year old, unrequited love as a young woman, and finding her place in the world. Selma, Luisa's grandmother, is another prominent figure in the book. Selma is Luisa's anchor, and she and Luisa are very close. At the start of the book, you find out that when Selma has a dream with an okapi in it, someone in the village dies within a certain number of hours. So when one of these dreams occurs, news spreads like crazy through the village and puts everyone on edge. Then there are several other quirky, eccentric characters in the book who make up this close community. Thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux through Netgalley for an advance copy.

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It's so hard to collect my thoughts and summarize this books. It is such a powerful story of how one person can be everyone's rock, everyone's anchor and loss of such figure could turn everything upside down. In every family, in every community, there is always that one person that everyone runs to when they need help and guidance. That individual can calm your nerves, put your mind at ease and sometimes tells you the truth that no one was willing to tell. You would feel part of the family or community only because of that person and you stay where you are even if you are missing opportunities elsewhere. Or you would feel completely free of any responsibility because this person would be taking them all on your behalf. And losing such person will make those who stayed leave and those who left stay... Selma was that person in that tiny town in Germany. No one liked when they heard Selma had another dream, but they rather had her dream occasionally then losing her altogether. Everyone should give book a chance!

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As I began the book, I wasn't sure where it was going. It was a slow start for me but as I began to meet the characters from a small village in Germany, I began to find them endearing and quirky. A grandmother's dream of an okapi has the village in an uproar. We meet everyone in the village, each with their own little quirks. I found it entertaining and funny as well as a little sad. I don't know how much more I can say without telling the story. If you enjoy reading unconventional stories, I think you would enjoy this book. Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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Review of Uncorrected Digital Galley When Selma dreams of an okapi, someone is on the verge of death. While insisting they are not superstitious, the villagers worry about secrets kept and decisions yet to come . . . in case they are the one that is to become the victim of the dream-okapi. Luisa, Selma’s ten-year-old granddaughter, watches as they begin to act strangely as they grapple with huge questions: ending a marriage; confessing of a long-held love. And when death comes, it isn’t at all what anyone feared . . . or expected. This generational story reveals the inner workings of family, looking at the things that define people and lives, considering the big questions and the quiet moments. The story of this small west German village is bittersweet in its recounting of the eccentricities of the people. It’s the story of how people find their way in the world, learning how love and loss and home shape each of us. The characters are well-drawn, quirky, and, at the same time, endearing. It’s a story of love, of hope, of dreams. It’s a tale of kindness and truth, elegant, simplistic, and complex. Readers are sure to find much to treasure here. Recommended. I received a copy of this eBook from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley #WhatYouCanSeeFromHere #NetGalley

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This is a quirky book but it was a joy to read. It is hard to summarize and I don't want to repeat the book description because the book description does not do it justice.. Selma, Luise,, the Optician, the Buddhist monk, and few more people and Alaska make an interesting tale. They are all loveable by the end and you really feel their emotions. I enjoyed that it was set in Western Germany which is a different location than I usually find. You could feel the vibes from the small villages and the forest. I would like to thank #NetGalley for this book. I hope you enjoy this book by #MarianaLeky which will be available in the US on June 22nd, 2021.

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This is a great read! Reading this felt like being in another world entirely, a page turner that sets one on the edge. You can't even tell what's gonna happen next. What I love most about this book is the flow, it started when a girl was little and ended when she was a full adult, every stage of her life was detailed. The ability to feel the growth with her made this novel top notch, i felt carried along in every step of the way and it was fun!

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Oh my! This one will stick with me. What You Can See From Here is quirky charming. The book is filled with characters you follow for a lifetime. The kind of characters you miss when you finish the book. I had a lump in my throat while laughing a lot and wanted to highlight half of the book. Part one is a little slow, but it builds the rest of the book that moves along as a good pace. The cover is much much better for the original German version! This is a little Fredrik Backman with a little Alice Hoffman. Super happy I read it and trusted the reviews!

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First, let me say I don’t sit and read many books. Instead I listen to 3 or 4 audiobooks a week. This book, however, grabbed me and held on until I finished reading it in a day and a half. I ate, slept and read until I was able to finish it. This book is beautifully and thoughtfully written. The characters are well developed and delightfully quirky, and I liked them. The setting in a small village in Germany was vividly described. The story centers on Selma and her granddaughter Luisa. Selma seems to be the village matron, a friend to everyone and the most stable figure in Luisa’s life. Most of the villagers are searching for something, and they interact in a way to support each other, mostly with compassion and wisdom. Each character has a flaw - a desperate desire to wander, an inability to express one’s feelings, a failure to act in a situation that could change their life or a desperate and never-ending sadness - but they don’t totally desert each other, and each character finds his or her way in the end. I highly recommend this book. It isn’t action packed or gripping, but it is sweet and wise. In this time of turmoil and isolation, the characters will warm your heart and leave you smiling.

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My friend recommended this book to me and from the first sentence I was hooked. The book is starts with a grandmother's dream, which foretells that someone will die. From there it introduces you to the strong and strange characters that you will share experiences with and suffering along side of. At times you want to cry but you definitely will laugh out loud too. I hated finishing this magical book.

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What You Can See From Here by Mariana Leky was a hard start for me, as I got hung up on the absurdity. But what began as a rough start quickly became smooth sailing as the author’s clear pure story telling swept me into the bosom of life in a West German Village. Grandmother Selma had a dream about an okapi, a sure sign that someone would die in the next 24 hours. The okapi dream is only one of the many superstitions we learn about as we meet the quirky, colorful residents. Luisa, Selma’s Granddaughter, is 10 when the story starts, and grows to adulthood throughout the novel. The residents all have something they need to say or do, and are holding back on executing their plans, to stay or go, to give voice to feelings or not, etc. Everyone seems to know everyone else’s most intimate thoughts and concerns. There are several beautiful love stories, at several stages of life. I enjoyed the characters very much, but my favorite part was reading about all the superstitions. So much felt so real to me that I found myself googling places and events. I only wish I could read this in the original language. It was definitely a good book to give yourself over to and let it swallow you up! Thank you, Net Galley, for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. #OkapiDreams #NetGalley

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Thank you to netgalley.com for this ARC. This is a translated book from German. It is a story of twenty years in the life of a girl living in a small town, her grandmother, friends, family, and a Buddhist monk. This story is heartbreaking at times, but so well done. I couldn't put the book down. There was love, sadness, death, quirky characters, and big, mangy dog which all added to it's charm. It is a real life story with just a slight touch of magical realism to make it complete. I highly recommend this book.

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I loved this quirky book! I'm not sure I fully understood it, but I found it hard to put down and occasionally funny and occasionally sad. Young Luisa is practically raised by her grandmother Selma, since her flaky dad travels the world and her mother is too absorbed in her own life. Selma, who was widowed long ago, is loved by the village optician, and the two of them become the rocks in Luisa's life, supporting her through childhood grief, abandonment, and grown-up love. This summary makes it sound like a normal story, but it really isn't at all! In a funny way it reminded me of Louise Penny's STILL LIFE--a village of quirky characters who form a community. Throw in some Buddhism, lots of sight/blindness metaphors and themes, and one dog that never dies, and you have WHAT YOU CAN SEE FROM HERE. Thank you to the publishers for the opportunity to review this book!

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This was an odd book, but all the elements worked together seamlessly to craft a quirky story of an eclectic group of characters living in small town Germany. I picked it up because I was curious to read a story set in Westerwald (I know, a very specific interest), but beyond that, I had no idea what I was getting into. I honestly don't think the description does it justice. An honest summary of the story would be something along the lines of "A quirky story of small town Germany, where you meet a bunch of quirky characters whose lives intersect in different ways over the years, exhibiting stories of love, family, grief, loss, and friendship." However, this itself also doesn't do the story justice. It's Mariana Leky's writing genius that drives the story. Her ability to immerse you as the reader into the setting and lives of these characters is really impressive. The characters really came the life, and the town felt so vibrant. I felt quite sad letting them go when it was over.

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NOTE: I received early access to this book through NetGalley in exchange for writing an impartial review. Originally published in 2017 in German, it has now been translated into English by Tess Lewis with a scheduled publication date of June 22, 2021. What a completely delightful read! While I find it hard to describe what exactly makes this novel so enjoyable, let me say that it feels like Mariana Leky's style combines some of the best qualities of Jane Austen with Fredrik Backman. Like Austen, it’s a study of small town life, where not much happens, but somehow everything ordinary people do everyday is full of drama. And like Backman (Austen too), there is SO MUCH humor woven into the narrative. Almost as though the book is reminding us NOT to take our lives too seriously. This is a book where the author's unique style enhances the story. At the start of the book, the central protagonist, Luisa, and her best friend Martin are inseparable. Luisa’s parents do not give her the attention she deserves. Fortunately, her widowed grandmother Selma (whose dreams also predict the future) provides all the security and love Luisa could want. There are other meaningful relationships — with the reclusive Marlies, the superstitious Elsbeth, the remote hunter (and Martin's father) Palm, the ever attentive village optician, Dietrich, the bookshop owner, Mr. Rodder, even a psychotherapist, Dr. Maschke. Later, a Buddhist monk named Frederik joins in. As years pass, these characters support each other through tragedies, separations, secrets, attempted murder, and love affairs... while accepting each other’s quirks and foibles. So that the book becomes a lovely tale of how much we can all offer one another, when we don't let personal judgements get in the way. It's a very enjoyable book, full of love, and I recommend it to everyone. And I look forward to more books by Mariana Leky.

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Absolutely loved this novel.Warm emotional characters that come alive. a story that drew me in from the first pages and I was so sorry to read the last page.Highly recommend,#netgalley#fsg

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This is not your ordinary novel. Translated from German, this heart-tugging story is not for those seeking action or thrills. It meandered along at its own delightful pace and captured my heart completely. Revolving around Luise (a young girl of 10) and spanning 20 years, it touches on so much...love of small community vs. wanting to let the world in, secret love, lost love, first love, love late in life, handling life and death with grace, etc. I could honestly read this over and over seeing hidden gems and different perspectives every time. So many beautiful, almost poetic passages with a flawed cast of colorful characters that I could envision from my own hometown. Highly recommend. Much thanks to #NetGalley and #FarrarStrausandGiroux for providing me the early ARC for review. The opinions are strictly my own.

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I was so lucky to receive an advance copy of this book prior to it's release from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and opinion. WOW! This book is so good that I'm not even sure how to write a review. Please just do yourself a favor and read it ASAP! You will not be the least bit disappointed. In fact, you may want to read it over and over as it will stay with you for a long time. I highly recommend this book!

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It's sad, it's sweet, it's hopeful... If you want a good cathartic cry, try this book. :) It was not at all what I expected - I thought this while book would be about the village and superstitions, etc. For some reason I almost expected a horror type book. Instead it is a coming of age book, a book about family , about love. I want to thank the author, the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.

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I received a free e-arc through Netgalley. This story takes place in a small village in Germany. There is quite a range of characters in this small village. Luisa is the main character who undergoes a traumatic event at age 10. Then her father pretty much deserts the family to wander the world while her mother begins an affair. Thankfully she is left with her grandmother and the optician (who is madly in love with grandmother) to raise her. Alaska, a strange and magical dog is also an important part of this makeshift family. The writing is gentle and poetic even when covering hard topics like suicide. It almost could be a fairy tale at times with how the characters speak and live. I enjoyed this book.

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This was a sweet book. I was very confused at first, then I settled into the story and found myself really liking the characters! By the time it ended, they all felt like old friends and I felt like I was a part of their everyday lives. It was sweet and sad, funny and curious. I enjoyed this story and am very happy that I read it! Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my free arc in exchange for my honest opinion!

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Great stuff. With thousands of high ratings and reviews, I needn't say much more. It has incredible cast and will stick with readers for a long time. I really appreciate the ARC for review!!

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🦓 The whole village comes to a standstill when Selma dreams of an Okapi, thinking that their time to die has come. This fantastic book, with elements of magical realism, is set in a West German village at the turn of the 20th century. It is full of eccentric characters, such as Elsbeth, who believes that ivy is an enchanted person, who is released from their spell when they reach the top of the tree; or Marlies, who lives alone in her house, and her only attire is a Norwegian sweater over her underwear. 🦓 This novel became an instant favorite of mine. Although it is full of painful elements, the characters are so magical, that you don't suffer while reading it, but instead, you want to know how they will solve their problems. 🦓 Recommended to: lovers of García Márquez, of "The Elegance of the Hedgehog", and to those who want to read a book, without suffering. ✔️ It passes the Bechdel test.

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What a perfect novel to finish on the day after my second Covid vaccine. The characters in Levy's novel are a true joy. Our main character, ten-year-old Luisa, lives in a small village in Germany, and and watch her life take twists and turns as she never leaves her hometown in about two decades. Her father is always traveling. Over time, she meets a monk from Japan, and they write weekly letters for ten years. Her grandmother, Selma, keeps the family together right up until she falls apart. There are so many great lines in this novel, so many hilarious encounters, so much humanity, that I rather dreaded when I reached the end.

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A charming book about the lives of people in a German village. The plot is simple revolving around Luisa and is told from her pov. Starting from her childhood, the story is about her family, the special bond with her grandmother Selma ,her friends and her loves. In today's world of superficiality and shallowness , it was refreshing to read about deep love, childlike grownups and close knitted relationships. Though I was expecting a more impactful ending especially between Luisa and Fredrick, the book keeps you engrossed and has many heart touching moments. Must read!

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This is a beautiful story about love and has been translated from German. Luisa, at age 10, loses Martin, her best friend and companion, in a horrible accident after Selma, her grandmother, sees an okapki in a dream. The story covers three decades in the lives of this small group of villagers from the little German town in which, with one exception, they all live. It is a simple story told complexly and written amazingly well. The characters take on lives of their own and make you care for them. Thanks to Net Galley and Farrah, Straus and Giroux for an ARC for an honest review.

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I find myself struggling to give an appropriate and accurate synopsis of this novel, because even by doing so feels like a disservice to this novel. But in a nutshell: in the mid 1980s in Germany, 60 year-old Selma is woken up by her fourth dream with an okapi - a fantastical animal that is a combination of many. Every time she's had this dream, someone in the village has died the following day. The rest of the villagers respond differently to this news each time it happens; some retreat into their homes in fear, some hope for the quiet end to their own lives, while others reveal the truths they've buried for many years. At its core, this novel is about people and how they choose to live their lives. It's about the emotions they face, the stories they do and don't tell, and the relationships they build and end. At the surface this novel is simple, but peel back the layers and there are so many life lessons that are hidden in each chapter.

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"𝐋𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡," 𝐈 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝. "𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞'𝐬 𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐲 𝐭𝐨𝐨," 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝. "𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧'𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧'𝐭 𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦- 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮." "𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥?" 𝐈 𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐞𝐝. "𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐨𝐰𝐥𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫," 𝐒𝐞𝐥𝐦𝐚 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐝. An omen bowls over the villagers in a Western German town in the form of an animal vision. Selma and her okapi dreams foretell death, for it has happened three times that when she has dreamed of the strange animal, death has opened it's eyes and taken from them. They know in the next twenty-four hours, someone will depart. Even if the least superstitious of them, the optician, attempts logic to shrug off this 'loose' connection to death, deep down he knows the reaper is waiting. Her ten year old granddaughter Luisa takes the premonition seriously, confiding in her best friend, future weight lifting champion Martin. Together, the two wonder who in the village will survive. They are not backwards people who put stock in unfounded fears, and yet suddenly Luisa witnesses they unsettled energy surrounding them all. With the end snapping at their heels collectively, now is the time to 'ward off death', though uncertain whom it has come to call. They have seen first hand a death, after one of her unwanted dreams, and have no intention of being chosen. Maybe if they throw their secrets to the wind, speak their truths, then death can be dodged? Some secrets are full of yearning and burn close to home. Other villagers visit Elsbeth's shop for trinkets to ward off their unwelcome end. Who better than the person who has things to ward off illnesses and deceased souls to help them hide from death? Sad Marlies is too bad tempered to be worried, living at the edge of the village in a cloud of negativity, visiting her is a chore for Martin and Luisa. Old before her time, she wishes death were coming for her. Selma expects Luisa to behave as if it's any other day, you can't stop time, being afraid of her dream will accomplish nothing. Luisa knows life is full of danger, like Martin's cruel father, Palm. If only her busy mother could focus, listen to her woes instead of burying herself in her flower shop. Who needs to be afraid of dark things waiting to pounce on you when your Martin's own father could snuff his light out? At least Luisa can depend on her grandmother Selma, that her strength will put Palm in his place! She knew him before he soured, the person he once was almost sounds like a fiction. Luisa's own father wants them to 'let more of the world in' and calls her dreams "nonsense", her mother struggles making a decision whether or not to leave him, and everything that is coming will teach Luisa about love and death. It's a wonderful cast of characters, there is lightness and love but it takes a turn, as life often does, into shocking grief. People come and go, out into 'the creaking world', desperate to escape the village not realizing the pain they cause, the beauty they leave behind but promising to come back. Luckily, Martin is always there to lift Luisa up! Unbalanced floors, drunks, hours watched by the suspicious eyes of villagers, the vastness of love, unbearable pain, regrets, illumination, and the wisdom of Buddhism. This novel encompasses life, how love and death will always invite itself in, welcome or not, and bowl us over. Nothing can be deflected, nor arranged, certainly not matters of the heart or mind. It's the sort of tale that lingers, an unbearable ache. Beautiful and gut wrenching, yes read it! Publication Date: June 22, 2021 Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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