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The Distance Between Us Broché – 26 février 2013
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Gripping, insightful and deft, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Maggie O'Farrell is a haunting story of the way our families shape our lives, from the award-winning author of THIS MUST BE THE PLACE. It was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller and won the Somerset Maugham Award.
On a cold February afternoon, Stella catches sight of a man she hasn't seen for many years, but instantly recognises. Or thinks she does. At the same moment on the other side of the globe, in the middle of a crowd of Chinese New Year revellers, Jake realises that things are becoming dangerous.
They know nothing of one another's existence, but both Stella and Jake flee their lives: Jake in search of a place so remote it doesn't appear on any map, and Stella for a destination in Scotland, the significance of which only her sister, Nina, will understand.
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Maggie O'Farrell has written three novels, each of them a critical and commercial success (FT)
A well paced read that slowly and tantalisingly unravels a web of mysteries, tragedies and intrigue, keeping you hooked (Eve)
Maggie O'Farrell brilliantly reveals how the past has an untidy habit of cluttering up the present in this compulsively readable tale of star-crossed lovers and secretive siblings (Elle)
Quatrième de couverture
Détails sur le produit
- ASIN : 0755302664
- Éditeur : Tinder Press; 1er édition (26 février 2013)
- Langue : Anglais
- Broché : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780755302666
- ISBN-13 : 978-0755302666
- Poids de l'article : 268 g
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.49 x 19.61 cm
- Commentaires client :
À propos de l'auteur
Meilleures évaluations de France
Un problème s'est produit lors du filtrage des commentaires. Veuillez réessayer ultérieurement.
Encore un excellent roman entre Écosse et Hong Kong où les trajectoires de Jake et Stella, finiront par se croiser dans un village reculé de la campagne ecossaise où chacun est venu chercher refuge.
Ils y trouveront les réponses qu'ils cherchent.
Lecture très abordable recommandée par o'bEiNGLISH
On pourrait peut-être regretter qu'à la fin, des réponses ne soient pas apportées à toutes les questions mais peut-être aussi que vu la tournure des évènements ... cela n'était plus utile.
Stella est une jeune femme italienne de mère et écossaise de père. A Londres, elle croise un homme, qui lui rapelle un horrible souvenir, son pire cauchemar, son terrible secret. Prise de panique Stella prend la fuite, elle veut commencer une vie nouvelle, loin de sa famille, loin de ces affreux souvenirs qui la hantent.
Comme à son habitude, Maggie O'Farrel a créé des personnages pleins de mystère! Stella et Jake sont tous deux trés attachants. Il y a beaucoup de flashbacks qui nous font découvrir le passé de ces personnages, qui vont nous dévoiler leurs secrets, des morceaux de vie qui s'assemblent peu à peu comme dans un puzzle. C'est fascinant!
J'aime beaucoup le style de cette auteure qui connait toutes les ficelles du suspens...
Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays
I definitely fall into this category as well; ‘This Must Be the Place’ and ‘The Hand That First Held Mine’ are among my favourite books I’ve read in recent years, and I’ve very much enjoyed her others as well (I think ‘My Lover’s Lover’ and her autobiography are the only ones I haven’t read), but in contrast to those, ‘The Distance Between Us’ falls painfully short for me. O’Farrell is normally very adept at putting us directly into the shoes of her flawed but endearing and believable characters as we get snippets of their lives and gradually piece a narrative together (generally out of chronological order), and while her style of narration is still very much evident in this book, I think the story overall is hindered by two major points.
***Mild spoilers ahead***
The first is that the key focus of the story is a blossoming love between its two characters, but this love and the affections involved never had time to develop and seem to spring out of nowhere. The first half of the book covers the lives of our protagonists Stella and Jake, from opposite ends of the globe and how they find themselves in the same place. This section of the book echoes O’Farrell’s approach in her other books much more and is enjoyable to read; we find out about all the influencing forces in the extraordinary-but-believable lives of Stella and Jake very organically through reading the thoughts of their families (extending as far back as Jake’s estranged grandmother, even) and learning about their ancestry and the accompanying effects this has on them living in places they are not native to. This slow, character-building work is arguably the best part of O’Farrell’s writing, and probably the most enjoyable aspect of this book. However, the culmination of the plot, when the two finally meet, undoes all this swiftly as the two characters (who we spend half the book learning are guarded, slightly awkward and independent individuals) immediately fall hopelessly in love with each other and then begin acting in ways that seem to deeply contrast everything that has come before. It feels like a separate novel completely, and while we do still see flashbacks that expand the backstories for the characters, it feels somewhat pointless as these revelations have no real bearing on the current events at all, as the characters become defined purely by their love for each other. While it is briefly acknowledged by the characters, we get no real context or build-up for this ‘love at first sight’, and if you cannot enjoy a story where the romance isn’t developed beforehand, you may well find the book un-salvageable after this halfway point, as I did.
The other major issue with the book as the character of Jake, whom I found to be staggeringly unlikable. His backstory is interesting, and you can easily empathise with the difficult situation he finds himself in during the first half of the story, but his likability erodes quite rapidly after he decides to flee from his problems and meets Stella. I’ve already expressed my dislike for the way the characters fall for each other so quickly, but the character of Jake seems to take this to extremes with repeated descriptions of how obsessed he becomes with Stella, and it only gets worse. Far more troublingly, he becomes quite aggressive and controlling as well, and this is where I really took issue with the book: it is never quite clear whether this aspect of the character is intentional or whether this is meant to convey the passion of the romance, but I found it quite bizarre to read. Jake is certainly never called out by any other character for how his behavior and repeatedly justifies himself (when Stella is trying to avoid him, he physically restrains her, drags her into a laundry room against her will and locks the door while exclaiming how difficult she is, later explaining it is his ‘only option’), so the reader is left to assume this behavior is fine and Jake is meant to remain a protagonist. This, with the way he seems to repeatedly order her to do things when her attention is away from him (and Stella’s reluctant obedience), and his constant drilling of personal questions all give off a very nasty vibe that makes the spontaneous love story even harder to fathom.
While I didn’t enjoy the book myself, I can’t give it a lower rating because it may resonate much more with readers who don’t have preconceptions of Maggie O’Farrell, and indeed I may have just missed a key theme of the story that others pick up on right away because I do find it hard to believe that such an unremarkable and straightforward love story could have been produced by an otherwise talented author.
The copy I was sent had been put together oddly and some of the pages were out of line but no narrative was missing so it wasn't worth sending it back.
There are 4 parts to the book, each written with no chapter breaks although there are many pauses as the story moves around in time.
The first part sets up the two main characters. They are on opposite sides of the world with seemingly nothing in common except that both are traumatised and seem to be in shock.
It's a powerful start that poses all sorts of questions. The descriptions of the places is wonderful and seem to connect with the emotions being experienced. The language is evocative and captivating with a rhythm that keeps the reader engaged.
The book was first published in 2004 so probably written in 2002/3 and it is interesting to see the tentative appearance of mobiles and emails that is handled very genuinely. It is curious to look back 20 years and see the effect that increased technology has had on our communications.
The narrative jumps back and forward often, giving back history and eventually giving answers too. The movement of time is never confusing though and the author places trust in the reader to work out where they are.
My only slight disappointment was the plot which has some great ideas but becomes predictable and over dramatic towards the end. It is also unlikely at times. It was a great book to read though.
"The Distance Between Us" is a beautifully crafted love story. I can see how in this book, her switching between time, place and person must have been so original in 2004. This technique is exemplified in Hamnet and in reading her first and latest novels I am now totally hooked!
However; I must read " Memoirs of a Highland Lady" next as she cited this as an inspiration for "The Distance Between Us "
Eileen Wilson x