"[Paula] Saunders skillfully illuminates how time heals certain wounds while deepening others. . . . A mediation of the violence of American ambition."-The New York Times Book Review
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE
"A deeply involving portrait of the American postwar family" (Jennifer Egan) about sibling rivalry, dark secrets, and a young girl's struggle with freedom and artistic desire
In the years after World War II, the bleak yet beautiful plains of South Dakota still embody all the contradictions-the ruggedness and the promise-of the old frontier. This is a place where you can eat strawberries from wild vines, where lightning reveals a boundless horizon, where descendants of white settlers and native Indians continue to collide, and where, for most, there are limited options.
René shares a home, a family, and a passion for dance with her older brother, Leon. Yet for all they have in common, their lives are on remarkably different paths. In contrast to René, a born spitfire, Leon is a gentle soul. The only boy in their ballet class, Leon silently endures often brutal teasing. Meanwhile, René excels at everything she touches, basking in the delighted gaze of their father, whom Leon seems to disappoint no matter how hard he tries.
As the years pass, René and Leon's parents fight with increasing frequency-and ferocity. Their father-a cattle broker-spends more time on the road, his sporadic homecomings both yearned for and dreaded by the children. And as René and Leon grow up, they grow apart. They grasp whatever they can to stay afloat-a word of praise, a grandmother's outstretched hand, the seductive attention of a stranger-as René works to save herself, crossing the border into a larger, more hopeful world, while Leon embarks on a path of despair and self-destruction.
Tender, searing, and unforgettable, The Distance Home is a profoundly American story spanning decades-a tale of haves and have-nots, of how our ideas of winning and losing, success and failure, lead us inevitably into various problems with empathy and caring for one another. It's a portrait of beauty and brutality in which the author's compassionate narration allows us to sympathize, in turn, with everyone involved.
"A riveting family saga for the ages . . . one of the best books I've read in years."-Mary Karr
"Saunders' debut is an exquisite, searing portrait of family and of people coping with whatever life throws at them while trying to keep close to one another."-Booklist (starred review)
"The Distance Home is a deeply involving portrait of the American postwar family: its promises and disruptions-surrounded by a rich, shimmering, sensuous South Dakota landscape."-Jennifer Egan
"[Paula] Saunders skillfully illuminates how time heals certain wounds while deepening others, and her depiction of aging is viscerally affecting. . . . The Distance Home becomes a mediation of the violence of American ambition-and a powerful call for self-examination."-The New York Times Book Review
"Saunders' debut is an exquisite, searing portrait of family and of people coping with whatever life throws at them while trying to keep close to one another. . . . The Distance Home will leave readers eager for more from this extraordinarily talented author."-Booklist (starred review)
"The author's compassion for her characters shines through in this honest story."-Library Journal
"Penetrating and insightful . . . This debut wonderfully depicts the entire lifespan of a singular family."-Publishers Weekly
"Paula Saunders has given us a riveting family saga for the ages. The Distance Home is fresh, with a seductive Midwestern innocence, though the book's outwardly ideal clan holds dark secrets that kept me turning pages into the wee hours. This is one of the best books I've read in years-destined to become a classic."-Mary Karr
"In The Distance Home, a family's story-its past, its present, and (most surprising) its future-traces the intricate, often subterranean lines that connect damage to redemption, creation to dissolution, and the everyday to the eternal, just to name several of its moving and startling aspects. It's a true, and rare, accomplishment."-Michael Cunningham
"The Distance Home is a bracing and beautiful novel about a fierce struggle for love and understanding in a South Dakota family, and about aspiration (both thwarted and encouraged) in an unforgiving place. Read it-it will break your heart and open it up."-Maile Meloy, author of Do Not Become Alarmed
"The Distance Home is the coming-of-age story of an artistically talented girl who grows up amid the emotional turmoil of a dysfunctional family she yearns to save. Set in the isolation of South Dakota prairie towns and then the provincialism of Rapid City, The Distance Home is an exemplary story of what hardworking people suffered in Middle America in the late twentieth century while striving to achieve dreams. This soul-searching first novel offers everywhere that most mysterious and essential of artistic achievements: heart."-Douglas Unger, author of Leaving the Land and Voices from Silence
"An extraordinary debut. Paula Saunders writes beautiful, evocative prose that engages you in every aspect of this world. The Distance Home is heartbreaking and full of compassion while also managing to be exacting, precise, and truthful. It accomplishes what great fiction should: we get a glimpse of our own humanity-a hard-won clarity-through the story of this particular haunted family and the woman who moved on, survived, but never exactly left."-Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others and Stone Arabia
1 The End: A Refrain "It's you or me next," René said to get a laugh. Her brother had already passed away, as had her father. Now René and her sister were once again driving the length of the state. Black cattle dotted the yellow hillsides. Out their open windows, long-abandoned homesteads flew by-roofs pitched eerily to one side, windmills cracked in half, groaning. With this one more passing, it was down to just the two of them. Mostly René had been steely, while Jayne had been unable to stop crying. René was older, but it didn't matter how old they were. Their mother had finally stopped messing the bed and tearing her clothes off in the middle of the night, ending up naked and haywire on the mattress or sprawled, drooling, on the carpet next to it, her translucent body shimmering with sweat. She'd lain unconscious for the final week, cold and luminous as porcelain, as the girls came in to handle her by hip bones and shoulder blades, to turn her this way and that. They would bury her ashes next to their father's and brother's. They'd been busy-cleaned and sold her house, divided everything without jealousy or rancor. In so many ways it was all done, and in so many ways it was just beginning. "You girls will miss her," someone had said at the service. "No one in the world can love you like your mother does." René had nodded and smiled coolly, dismissing the sentiment as tired and trite, while Jayne reached for a tissue. "Thank you for coming," René had said. She'd found herself repeating the same line all morning, as if by rote, wondering if it was the right thing to say or if perhaps there was something fundamentally cold and incorrect about her that was causing her to sound standoffish and transparently unfeeling. 2 Eve Yvonne, called Eve, grew up around the corner and down the long dirt road from Al, two houses from the muddy banks of the Bad River, just where it joined with the Missouri, so there was always the problem of flood and river smell. On wash day she and her mother would change the sheets, moving top sheet to bottom, because it hadn't been too badly used, then bottom sheet to the washtub, through the wringer, and out onto the line, where the wind was kicking up dirt and chicken scat. Despite the sun-burnt yard, the pile of old tractor tires, the chickens underfoot, and the yellow haze that rose around the confluence of the two rivers, Eve never considered herself a country girl. She was just on the wrong side of the Missouri. Across the water, in Pierre, the state capital, were the politicians and doctors, the green lawns with walkways and trimmed hedges. On her side, in old Fort Pierre, were the bars, the yards full of chickens and stray cats, the overgrown lots thick with snakes and broken-down cars, and on the hill as you were coming down into town, a plaque indicating a stop on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She knew from the beginning she'd have to have grit, have to make her own way, so she'd come up with a plan to apply to the South Dakota College of Business, to be an executive secretary, a professional girl. Then the uniformed men had arrived at her door, holding their hats like dinner plates, to say that her eldest brother, Buddy, had been killed by a land mine in Germany, on his way home, the war already won. And not two weeks later-as the house was still reeling in grief, her mother still laid up in bed-her baby brother, Tom, the skinny little six-year-old Eve was mostly raising herself, combing his hair for school and yelling for him to get in out of the rain, drowned in the dried-up Bad River, disappearing into a sinkhole so deep that no one was ever able to recover his remains. And suddenly, at seventeen, Eve was weary. She was tired of watching her little sister, Fanny, flirt with the priests, lifting her skirt at every town dance to show off her raggedy underthings, making an ass of herself, and ti
Auteur Paula Saunders
Product type Paperback
Maat 235 x 156 x 21 mm
Gewicht van product 346 g
Bezorgdatum: tussen dinsdag, 9. juni en donderdag, 11. juni
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