The Distance between Us

The Distance between Us

by Maggie O'Farrell

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780755309184
Publisher: BPR Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/2004
Pages: 373
Product dimensions: 5.91(w) x 9.13(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

Hometown:

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK     

Place of Birth:

Coleraine, Northern Ireland

Education:

BA Hons, English Literature, University of Cambridge

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The Distance between Us 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
oldblack on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is fundamentally a simple heterosexual romantic "love story". That is, boy meets girl by quirk of fate, a misunderstanding leads to them separating, boy desperately searches for girl, boy finds girl and begs forgiveness but is apparently rejected, girl decides that he's right for her after all and surprises the boy by turning up on his doorstep. Presumably they live happily ...for a while, at least, if not ever after.What this book has going for it that a Mills & Boon romance doesn't have is another, perhaps more interesting story underlying the romance. This underlying story is one of an Italian family in Scotland, focusing on the two sisters, one of whom is the "girl" in the romance. It looks at how isolating it can be to be from a different culture to the one in which you live. Further, the issue of disability is added to that cultural conflict, together with unresolved feelings of guilt left over from childhood. This last issue is probably the most interesting (for me), and yet receives the least attention. What a shame.It's a reasonably long book but is quite easy reading, and would be ideal to read while traveling on a plane and heading for a new and different culture. In fact, the edition I read is called the "airport/export" edition!!
readingwithtea on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Summary: Stella runs away from her life in London to work at a Scottish hotel. Jake survives a crowd crush in Hong Kong, finds himself in the wrong life in England, and goes in search of his father in Scotland. Stella¿s sister Nina has never coped well without Stella, and Stella¿s Italian-Scottish family isn¿t thrilled about her new life choices either¿I loved this. The bond between the sisters was so strong and real, and O¿Farrell seems to have the knack of coming up with seemingly insignificant anecdotes which touch on the core of what she¿s trying to convey ¿ in this case, the protectiveness of a bigger (though younger) sister, teenage rebellion, different attitudes to life and love and yet that unswerving loyalty to one another.Like in The Hand That First Held Mine, we have Europeans living in Britain, learning to be bicultural, touches of another language thrown in haphazardly ¿ which appeals to me so much because it¿s exactly what I have lived. According to Wikipedia, a stint working in Hong Kong (which she draws on in this novel) is O¿Farrell¿s only ¿foreign¿ experience, so I wonder where she got this bilingual slant from. Anyway, I think it¿s fabulous.Also as in THTFHM, there was a sort of mystery to be solved, or an undisclosed event which was revealed towards the end and had a transformative effect on the characters¿ lives, but finding it out wasn¿t really the aim of the book, which was quite pleasant. The deed in question was pretty clearly signposted but I didn¿t think that detracted from it.The reason this doesn¿t get 10/10 is because the ending was a bit disappointing and twee ¿ too neatly wrapped up. But I guess that¿s a matter of personal taste.
michelle_bcf on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is another great read from Maggie, which is similar in form to her first book, After You'd Gone. It's partly a love story, but mainly a story about family.. and sisters in particular.At the beginning of the book we are introduced to the main characters. Jake is living in Hong Kong, finding himself caught in crush on News Years Eve, and what happens after that brings him to England. Stella sees someone she thinks she recognises, which sparks some memory in her, and sends her running to Scotland.From here, we meet various other characters, including both families. Maggie also takes us to various time settings, exploring not only Stella and Jake's childhood, but their parents history too.These strands gradually start to wind together, as the story evolves.. history and present coming together, as Jake and Stella come together too.This kind of story telling could very easily be confusing, especially to someone like me, who gets lost very easily, and yet it doesn't. The developments of the past gradually add to the present story, until everything comes together.The characters are believable, and Maggie's writing is down to earth, whilst flowing well. I found myself wanting to keep reading, whilst not wanting it to end!
kk1 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Thought I'd read it before, but couldn't remember the story from the back cover, just snippets - the Hong Kong crush and an Italian family in Scotland (and both of these remind me of other stories).I think "After you'd Gone" , by the same author is a much stronger story. Although both have similar family themes.
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