Thursday, April 9, 2009

56 - The Distance Between Us; Bart Yates

Hester Donovan was a concert pianist in her younger days, in fact, the whole family was musically talented except for Caitlin, the daughter. Now at age seventy-one, Hester finds herself separated from her womanizing, violinist husband Arthur, and living alone in a sprawling old Victorian home in Bolton, Illinois, the home of The Carson Conservatory of Music.

In the opening lines of the novel Hester says: "I spend a great deal of time admiring my hands, but that's only because they belong to another woman ---my body turned seventy-one last month and has, of late, begin to bear a disturbing resemblance to a ripe avocado".

The story is told from the first person point of view of Hester and with all her quirks. There is enough humor and laughs to get you through a few serious and darker moments. Hester spends most of her days now, an angry woman, drinking way too much wine, her focus on how her husband wronged her. As for her children, Hester states: "my children were all the most neurotic people on the planet". Not surprising is the fact that Hester now has a strained relationship with her adult children.

When Hester decides to rent out a room in her home to Alex, a shy gay student at the music school, her son Paul protests, becomes violent, and demands that his mother evict him.
As the story unfolds, the reader learns much more about the family dynamics and the ghosts long buried. As you read, it becomes clear why this family seems to spend more time fighting with each other rather than enjoying time spent with one another.

I thought that this book was very good. All the characters are extremely well--developed. The author uses brilliant wit and insight to make this story a real page-turner.

The Distance Between Us (Kensington) is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

RATING - 4.5/5 - COMPLETED - 4/8/09


  1. I really enjoyed this book...glad to hear that you did, too!

  2. I really like the cover of this one. The book sounds good too. :-)

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog :)

  4. Wow, I love the cover of this book! Your review really piques my interest; the characters do sound well-developed.

    Something to keep on my list!

  5. The cover intrigues me. I enjoy books that test family dynamics so this one does sound pretty good.

  6. I like the cover also and it sounds really good too.

  7. oh - this one sounds good too.

  8. I love that cover and the sad title. :) Thanks for the review!


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