The Distance Between Us

by Maggie O'Farrell

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It looks like I’m at a one all draw with Maggie O’Farrell. I enjoyed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox after a slow start, but didn’t get on at all well with My Lover’s Lover. So it’s taken me a while to pick up a third of her books.

This book is written in what I always think of as “jigsaw piece” style. Passages from the lives of the characters appear in what seems to be no particular order, time goes back and forth, places change, minor characters appear and it sometimes takes a while to figure out who they are. On the whole this is a storytelling device I enjoy and it’s well used here. Underneath it’s basically a love story but time and place are evoked so well that it doesn’t get too cheesey. The contemporary story of two sisters is muddled up with bits of their childhood and with bits of the life story of male leading character too.

I liked the book despite finding the writing a bit over the top at times, and I liked that the story didn’t explain everything in the end but didn’t leave you feeling cheated by that either.