Never That Far

Never That Far

by Carol Lynch Williams


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After her grampa dies, the last place Libby expects to see him is sitting on the edge of her bed. But that’s what happens the night after the funeral.

Even more surprising is that Grampa has three important things to tell her: first, that she isn’t alone or forgotten—“The dead ain’t never that far from the liv­ing,” he says; second, that she has “the Sight”—the ability to see family mem­bers who have died; and third, that there is something special just for her in the lake. Something that could help her and her father—if she can find it.

Libby and Grampa try to help her father heal from his grief, but it will take all of Libby’s courage and her gift of Sight to convince her father that the dead are never truly gone.

Never That Far is set in the lush, rural landscape of central Florida and is a story that celebrates friendship, hope, and the power of family love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629724096
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 839,983
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Carol Lynch Williams, who grew up in Florida and now lives in the West, is an award-winning novelist with five daughters and one grandson. She has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College, and she won the prestigious PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. The Chosen One was named one of the ALA's Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and Best Books for Young Adult Readers and was featured on numerous lists of recommended YA fiction. Carol's other novels include Messenger, Glimpse, Miles from Ordinary, The Haven, Waiting, and the Just in Time series.

Read an Excerpt

I wanted to reach out and touch Grampa's glow, but thought better of it. What if it burned? What if it killed me? Worse yet, what if my touching him made Grampa leave--or woke me from this dream?

We sat quiet a minute. From outside came the voices of frogs singing rain-songs and crickets calling out to friends.

Grampa wiggled around some, like he was getting settled. His glow went out big, then came down soft around the edges once he seemed comfortable.

"You done what I said?" he asked after a while.

I stared at him until my eyeballs burned. He seemed real enough. I give myself a pinch in the dark. It smarted. Seemed I was awake.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"You been searching out to the lake for what I left ya?"

I blinked, cooling down my eyes. "Naw, Grampa. I been down there today, though. Sat there some. Just breathing." I had a pink sunburn on my face and shoulders and back to prove it.

"That's all right, I guess," Grampa said. He slid up the bed to where I sat. He bent toward me, and the good smells of bacon with a rind and coffee with sweetened condensed milk came with him.

"You leaving?" I said. Pain, like a splinter, hit me in the chest. Grampa's face seemed clear, younger. Not so wrinkled, not so tired. His eyes were see-through green.

"For now," he said and set his lips to my cheek. The sting of sunburn was gone at his touch. "But I'll be back. You go on to sleep now. I'm gonna check in on your daddy."

I lay back. Pulled the sheet to my chin.

I didn't think I could sleep a wink, that's for sure. Not seeing what had happened to me. Not seeing what was to happen with Daddy. This was exciting news.

Preacher Burls was right about one thing even if she got her directions all mixed up. People did live after dying.

"But you'll be back?"

"Of course. The dead ain't never that far from the living."

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Never That Far 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
I am going to take a different approach to this review than normal. More than tell you about the book, I want to tell you what this book did for me. I have always believed that those who have died are close by. My father use to tell us all the time that when babies are smiling at "nothing" they are smiling at those on the other side who are watching out for us. I loved that. I loved the thought that I wasn't the only one watching out for my family while here on earth. This book also made me consider how much harder it would be for me to loose someone close to me, if I believed that, that was it. This little book showed me that no matter how long someone has been gone they are always right here with me. This is a good book to read with someone who has lost someone recently or is going to be loosing someone. Help them understand that even though they are not here, and it hurts, they are really never gone. I know it sounds so cliche, but it's so true. We can always carry those we love with us in our hearts, minds, and actions. It's such a calming feeling. This is such a sweet story about a girl trying so hard to help her father realize that life doesn't have to be as hard as he is making it out to be, if he would just accept that there is help from the other side.
AE2 More than 1 year ago
Libby's deceased grampa appears to her and tells her that he has a left a treasure for her at the lake on their property and she needs to find it. Libby discovers that she, like her grampa and other family members, has "the Sight." While she might be able to see deceased family members, her father can't--he stubbornly refuses to believe he, she, or anyone in their family could ever have had the Sight. If Libby and her father are going to find a way to heal, she has to convince him to see. This is a sweet story about grief, love, and healing. Carol Lynch Williams did a great job portraying a rural Florida girl and giving her an authentic voice. I'm not even sure if I believe in "the Sight," and yet, Williams totally made it seem plausible and I never doubted that Libby DID possess it. I think that suspension of disbelief (or at least, suspension of skepticism) is an indicator of Williams' talent as a writer. A sweet story, even if you don't quite believe, because it reminds you that there's stuff worth living for. I read a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.