Natalie Gallagher is a thirteen-year-old girl whose life seems to be falling apart. Her dad packed up his things and left, her mom can barely drag herself out of bed, and her onetime bff, Hannah Morgan, is now part of a group of kids who is cyber bulling her. When her English teacher assigns a project, Natalie decides to put her all into researching her family tree in hopes of standing out in a positive way.
Kathleen Lynch works with the archives for Massachusetts. A widow who is haunted by her past, wishing she’d done things differently with her ‘missing’ daughter. Research for Natalie’s family tree is what brings the two together. Kathleen can’t help but see similarities between her estranged daughter Susannah and Natalie—but maybe she can save Natalie.
In a search for answers, Natalie comes across an old journal of an Irish immigrant named, Bridgette. Bridgette's story seems so different than Kathleen and Natalie's. Bridgette works as a house keeper/nanny for a wealthy family in the 1920's. Yet it is her story that teaches Natalie and Kathleen timeless life lessons.
Personally, I had no idea how all these different stories could possible come together, but let me just say wow. Just wow. Moore did an amazing job of tying everything together. I knew So Far Away was a book about cyber bulling, but the story is so much more than that.
I had so much compassion for Natalie and I felt so awful for her. Her parents did nothing but frustrate me, especially her mother. Not only was I frustrated by her parents I could also appreciate there was much more to their story than Natalie was aware of.
I think one of my favorite storylines was Neil; he was so under my radar through most of the novel. His character had a slow build. I really enjoy his personality and his relationship with Kathleen. I was very surprised at the end. I was literally cooking at the stove with the book in my hand! I didn’t want to stop reading!
I was hooked from the very beginning. I wanted to know the story behind Susannah. I wanted to know all about Natalie and I wanted Natalie to be ok. I wanted Kathleen to be fulfilled and I just couldn’t put the book down. So Far Away is being added to my list of favorite books of the year!
Reviewed by: Laura Kay
Meg Mitchell Moore is the author of The Arrivals and So Far Away. She worked for several years as a journalist. Her work has been published in Yankee, Continental, Women’s Health, Advertising Age and many other business and consumer magazines. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their three children.
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"Moore effortless moves between a teenage cyberbullying victim, a mother who longs for her lost daughter, and a 1920 Irish domestic with a shocking secret. The result is a powerful page-turner about love, loss, motherhood and friendship."
J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Maine and Commencement.