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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 in Western Germany wakes up to an omen: Selma has dreamed of an okapi. Someone is about to die.
Luise, Selma’s ten-year-old granddaughter, looks on as the predictable characters of her small world begin acting strangely. Protesting that they are not superstitious, each of the villagers grapples with the buried secrets and deferred decisions that have suddenly become urgent in the face of death.
Luise’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 death finally comes, the circumstances are outside anyone’s expectations.
Across three defining moments in her life, Luise grapples with life's big questions alongside her devoted friends, young and old. A story about the absurdity of life and death, a bittersweet portrait of village life and the wider world that beckons beyond, it 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 charmer—a moving novel 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.
“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
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