Sarah Hall`s books will not leave you unmoved, her stories cut to the bone. Her honest and analytical dissection of human relations and emotions is rare to find. There is no beautifying, no romantic touch, we see a reflection of our naked selves, our selfish pettiness and our anxieties. Yet, what a contrast, Sarah Hall describes nature and landscape with such tenderness and love, you think you see it with your own eyes and hear it with your own ears. Her language is beautiful, but not ornate, it paints an accurate picture.
The seven stories in this book take you from the rough beauty of Cumbria to buzzing London, from the woods and lakes of Finland to the wilderness of Africa, but they have one thing in common, human relationships.
We watch the passionate and carnal love of a horse breeding family in Cambria and the smoldering violence under the thin skin of civilization,
we suffer with a middle aged woman from the north, who fell out of love with her husband and tries to put the pieces of her life together again,
we feel with the young woman, who has a passionate affair, but thinks she lives on borrowed time,
we witness a bored middle class woman trying to get some spark in her life, by joining a fancy sex club,
we are touched by the love and tenderness given to a dying friend,
and we feel the growing anxiety of a young woman contemplating the drowning of her lover in a remote lake in Finland.
There is one story standing out, it is the story of a young couple on vacation in the wilderness of South Africa. The woman feels the threat of the relationship falling apart and in her despair, she runs out into the night. It ends with a surprising twist and a transcendental touch, which I did not like that much.
In a lot of the reviews these stories are called highly erotic, which is completely misleading. There is no eroticism in these stories, it is simply the naked truth and I admire this honesty and straightforwardness.