After reading ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’, I found myself fascinated by the beautiful complexity of Maggie O’Farrell’s writing and very eager to read more! So I bought ‘The Distance Between Us” and definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Whereas some readers do not like it when the plot jumps around between narratives, I love it! Each individual thread of the plot weaves carefully in and out of the storyline and instead of leaving you annoyed that it’s changing again, it completely draws you in and simply builds up and up (in this case, like a small tornado gathering more and more evidence until finally you have all the facts and are left desperate to find out what happens)
It primarily follows the lives of Jake and Stella, two strangers who have never met…until a strange coincidence unites them in Scotland. There are countless twists and turns but I think the most haunting weave of narrative was Stella’s reactions to seeing this man…the fragmented storyline works really well with this subplot because it never reveals too much, we never know what happened until quite near the end of the novel when it is finally revealed.
It is a fantastic novel blending family relations, cultures, tragedies, courage in the face of adversity, heartache and love and it was just a really fascinating, enjoyable read. I would probably steer clear of this book (and ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’) if you prefer a straight narrative, but similarly, O’Farrell’s novels are filled with such brilliant characters and gripping events that you could probably get over the disjointedness of it because you’d already be swept up into it!