A young Syrian refugee feels the urge to enter a church in Germany, overwhelmed by the notes of Händel's Messiah. An elderly German woman and her neighbour whom she barely knows, an Arab mother of four, hug each other when they discover they have more in common than they thought. A retired teacher reflects on her roots when she meets a Spanish student in the Bavarian countryside. A tour guide recalls the civil war that tore her beloved Ireland apart only a few decades earlier. What do these stories have in common? They are stories of everyday people who, for one reason or another, feel displaced, outsiders, strangers to their surroundings. But sometimes a chance encounter, a shared experience, or maybe the notes of a song, are all it takes to feel at home again, and then, the other does not seem so different from us anymore. With her delicate writing, Sheila Gutknecht explores the concepts of identity, belonging, and otherness.
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