12 Days of Christmas: Day 8 – Someday We’ll Tell Each Other Everything
Still searching for the perfect MacLehose gift? Kathryn, an editor from the Quercus fiction list, tells us why this debut coming-of-age novel is her MacLehose pick of the year.
Have you every contemplated what it was it like to live on a farm deep in the East German countryside in the early nineties?
Maybe not, but the realities may surprise you. While the rest of the world was listening to Nirvana and gelling its hair, here was a sort of pastoral window in time – a network of tiny farming communities where families struggled to grow food for their tables, and technology as simple as a camera was a rare and precious commodity.
This is the setting for Daniela Krien’s debut coming-of-age novel Someday We’ll Tell Each Other Everything. Famously written in just two weeks, Someday chronicles the thoughts and dreams of Maria, a young East German girl who has recently moved in with her boyfriend’s farmer family.
Aside from distaste for the harder truths of farm life, Maria isn’t having a great time of it. Listless and bored, she spends much of her day hidden away with The Brothers Karamazov. So when the family’s much older fiery-tempered neighbour Henner starts to pay her attention, she can’t help but be drawn in. What transpires is a rather messy love affair – a sort of sexual awakening for Maria, but not without a price.
It’s a cliché that translated fiction lets us travel the world in our imaginations, and no less clichéd that it shows us the rest of world isn’t so different from us. If you want both of those things wrapped up in beautiful writing and an increasingly tense plot, with a stinging twist to wrap it all up, this is perfect for you.
Kathryn Taussig, Assistant Editor