Higher Ground by Anke Stelling

It took me a month to read Anke Stelling’s Higher Ground. A month, not because I wasn’t enjoying Stelling’s writing, but because I was in the depths of a reading rut. So, I didn’t give this book the attention and focus it deserved. And, had I read it in my usual week, I’m quite certain that the key themes – class and creativity – would have made a much stronger impression.

The story focuses on Resi, a writer in her mid-forties, married to Sven, a painter. They live in an apartment building in Berlin, where their lease is controlled by some of Resi’s closest friends. Those same friends live nearby, in a house they have built together with others from their social circle – an experiment in communal living that the group dreamed about in their twenties. Resi and Sven were given the opportunity to buy a share in the communal house, but opted to continue renting, a decision driven by Resi’s childhood, and her sense of place in the group. Continue reading