So Near

( 1 )

Overview

From the author of Local Knowledge comes a poignant novel about a young couple's road back from tragedy.

In the aftermath of a devastating loss, Cal and Jenny Horigan's marriage is unraveling. Both are plagued by guilt, unable to seek comfort from one another. Burdened by remorse, they begin to lose sight of the love that once anchored them-together with their sense of right and wrong.

As the Horigans try different ways to deal with their pain,...

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So Near

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Overview

From the author of Local Knowledge comes a poignant novel about a young couple's road back from tragedy.

In the aftermath of a devastating loss, Cal and Jenny Horigan's marriage is unraveling. Both are plagued by guilt, unable to seek comfort from one another. Burdened by remorse, they begin to lose sight of the love that once anchored them-together with their sense of right and wrong.

As the Horigans try different ways to deal with their pain, a new acquaintance seems to offer the support they desperately need-though at times they are unsure whether his guidance is leading them back to each other or further apart...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gyllenhaal (aunt of Maggie and Jake) ) juxtaposes the impact of a family disaster on a marriage against the economic woes of a small upstate New York town in her intriguing second novel. Cal and Jenny Horigan's lives are upended when Cal is in a car accident and their two-year old daughter, Betsy, whose car seat comes loose, is killed. Cal is eager to pursue a "wrongful death" lawsuit against the company that manufactured the car seat, spurred on by his eldest brother, Edmund but , Jenny–for her own complicated reasons–is strongly against the idea. The couple's radically different reactions to Betsy's death and the increasing wedge between them is ably explored using alternate viewpoints. While the townspeople rally around them, the knowledge that the Horigan name goes back in the town for generations, and the fact that Cal's father's business, and Cal and his older brother Kurt's business are both seeing hard times is a quiet undercurrent to the story. In the middle of the crisis, a mysterious stranger arrives in town. Daniel Brandt, a charismatic landscape architect (and sociopath), enters the Horigans' lives, offering balm to their misery and guilt, while taking advantage of their vulnerability. Added to the mix are Jenny's difficult relationship with her father, a strict and unemotional workaholic minister, and her free-spirited, younger sister, Judy, who once made a pass at Cal. Gyllenhaal (Local Knowledge) has a real page-turner, although her simplistic characters undermine the potential for greater depth and insight into relationships and the complexity that fuels them. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451234575
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 561,594
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Liza Gyllenhaal

Liza Gyllenhaal is a graduate of the Iowa Writing Workshop and former chairperson and current board member of The Academy of American Poets.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Love Beyond a Devastating Loss!

    One minute, a father is worry about his father's business turning sour in a changing economy. Then the same father is enjoying a baseball game, having a few beers, and thinking how great life is, while his wife is preparing for a large barbecue party. Half an hour later, their lives are turned upside down with a terrible, terrible loss, and the horrific future seems to be an impossible reality to get through. Everyone tries to ensure that there is no guilt to be carried but each parent believes he or she is to blame for this nightmare they are now living second by second, minute by minute.

    How does one cope with the most devastating death one would not want to imagine? Cal's brother says a lawsuit is the answer, yet Cal suspects his brother Edwin's motives are questionable. They are and the further shock that eventually is disclosed is expected because of certain moments when the reader is expecting something financially crushing is about to happen, so aptly does the author foreshadow each phase of this world-shaking event.

    Little by little, Cal and Jenny Horigan mourn in different ways and learn not to speak in order not to expose blame or self-recrimination. It reaches a point where each turns elsewhere for desperate communication. Before the Horigan marriage totally sinks into a hole beyond redemption, a stranger comes into their world in a way that could put the finishing touches on a doomed relationship or perhaps provide something else of a more miraculous nature.

    So Near is a heart-rending, honest, pragmatic, searing look at love that is called to endure far more than any person should ever have to bear but a love that is so deep that a spark remains to be kindled by a series of miraculous mistakes and interactions. Read it and weep! Read it and celebrate the gift of life! Tender, compelling novel, Liza Gyllenhaal - you so obviously know of what you write!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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