Standalone. HarperCollinsPublishers (February 2014) TLC Tours
An 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 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.As Iris moves in and out of the flicker between remembrance and forgetting, she chances upon a forgotten childhood friend who could become more.The Taste of Apple Seeds is a bittersweet story of heartbreak and hope passed down through the generations.
The Taste of Apple Seeds left me with a sweet and sad mixture of emotions. It's a beautifully written book that enveloped me into Iris's story. There's something about this book that just warmed my heart. It's quite melancholy but on the other hand there's this quiet comfort that this story brings. I don't know what to make of my feelings but one thing's for sure - this book made an impression on me.
Throughout the book you get to read about the different lives of Iris's family. You get to read about generations of heartbreak and love. In the present time the book is set, Iris has just lost her grandmother and is inherited a house full of the lives her mother, aunts, grandparents, and one of her best friends lived. The best friend is her cousin, Rosemarie, and she died tragically at the home. You get clues into Rosemarie's life until you are greeted with the pain and uncertainty Iris felt about her death.
The silence reminded me of that other morning thirteen years before when there was nothing to be heard, either. Just the occasional rattling of the wake of a tragic shock. Like deafness after a gunshot. A silence like a wound. Rosemarie had bled only a little from her nose, but on her pale skin the slight, sharply defined trickle looked as if it were mocking us.
Hagena made me believe this story was real. I was really wondering if this was a sort of memoir about the author or about someone else. It felt so real and vivid and it felt too tragic not to be real. The love these women experienced were so amazing to read about. Rosemarie was the most interesting character when the book was retelling her life. Everything about her life was wrapped in mystery that I needed to know what resulted in her death although in the end it's not so cleanly resolved for you. Nevertheless, I like that everything isn't resolved although a smart part of me would have liked Iris's questions to be answered.
Other than Rosemarie's story, the grandmother who died was a main focal point in the book. She slowly lost her memories in the span of around a decade. The way it was described was pretty terrifying and so harrowing. But, the way everything was written it was like looking inward through Iris, looking at the grandmother fading through a lens. It provided a distance to the character and just continued to make me think this book was about real life events.
The Taste of Apple Seeds was a beautiful story, haunting yet hopeful. Iris was a fantastic main character and her growth through her life was always interesting. It was a really wonderful story I just wish like Iris there wasn't lingering questions about what happened with Rosemarie.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for letting me read The Taste of Apple Seeds in exchange for an honest review!