This Is All He Asks Of You by Anne Egseth is a Book Heaven Wednesday pick #fiction #spiritual #books
Title: This Is All He Asks Of You
Author: Anne Egseth
Genre: Literary Fiction/ Spiritual Fiction
Publisher: John Hunt Publishing - Roundfire Books
Spanning Norway, Washington DC and Greece, This Is All He Asks of You is a visionary story about letters never sent, life once flowing and now frozen, swim-flying in golden light and the beauty of human connection. Above all, it is a story about how sad it would be if everything became like everything else.
Tromsø, Norway November 2018
For three months now, instead of studying for my exams, I have been sitting at my white desk, alternating between staring at the ghostly landscape outside and sifting through the words of a twelve year old me.
Now that the words are here, they fill the space and crowd my head as I look out of the window. The snow is black. It was pure and soft, and now it is hard, dirty and icy. I know that this grainy, black snow will line the streets outside for many months. Slowly, I will forget that warmth and sun and spring are possible. Every year, I forget. And then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, the ice will melt, the mud will stick to my shoes, and new life will be revealed. You should know this, as you grew up here as well. Or have you forgotten what it is like when the sun goes away for months on end, and the short glimmer of light at noon is too weak to carry the slightest hope of spring?
The words came in a parcel that arrived on my doorstep a while ago. A shoe-box filled with letters, poems, homework: snapshots of a girl I had forgotten, from a time when miracles could coexist with mashed potatoes, gray asphalt and science homework. It was mailed by an old friend, who kept it is his attic for ten years. It travelled across the ocean, all the way from Washington DC to Tromsø. I didn’t remember that I had given it to him, or even that it ever existed.
I look at the crumbled papers as I transform the wiry and scattered handwriting of my younger self into the orderly, black rows of signs on my computer. This is my attempt to create chronology, continuity and coherence out of a time I had wiped out of my memory. I don’t claim this is exactly what it was; this is me weaving a net of words, trying to catch this elusive, slippery voice from the past. I am following the thread back to a frozen girl buried deep inside my body; a twelve year old who disappeared the day the light went out. As I write I remember, and as I remember, I create.
Her words were meant for you.
You were her companion. You held her hand and saw the world through her eyes. There was something in her that always remembered you, felt a longing for your company, like a deep foghorn of a ship sounding in her chest, piercing through the gray, calling for you. She felt your presence and knew you were waiting for her. Then she lost you. Forgot. She almost became normal.
I’m one of the authors participating in the Read a Book Month Giveaway and you can win a print copy of my book (US residents only).
Runs September 1 - 30 and is open internationally for most prizes.
Winners will be drawn on October 1, 2020.
Growing up in Norway, Anne Egseth moved to London to become a classically trained actress. After performing for two decades in theaters in the UK and Scandinavia, she relocated to Washington DC where she started writing, teaching and coaching. She now lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and daughter. This Is All He Asks of You is her debut novel.
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