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So Far Away: A Novel Hardcover – May 29, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

PRAISE FOR SO FAR AWAY:

"So Far Away is the moving story of three very different women whose lives improbably intersect. Meg Mitchell Moore effortlessly moves among a teenage cyber-bullying victim, a mother who longs for her lost daughter, and a 1920s 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

"Meg Mitchell Moore has taken the hot button topic of cyber bullying and crafted a story so compellingly real you will never forget her thirteen-year-old heroine, Natalie Gallagher. Moore's pitch-perfect rendering of this girl's voice is nothing short of stunning."―Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss

"This sweet and thoughtful novel is both tense and elegiac, exploring the damage we inflict on ourselves and each other, and the strength it takes to heal."―Publishers Weekly

"Moore wields a powerfully emotive style, not unlike that of Francine Prose, in which she displays both deep compassion and winning humor...A beautifully told story of human fallibility and connection."―Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist (Starred Review)

PRAISE FOR THE ARRIVALS:

"What an intoxicating read! In The Arrivals, Meg Mitchell Moore takes on the age-old topic of parents and children and their children with a fresh perspective, a canny understanding of human emotion, and the absolute best dialogue I have ever read. Both charming and deeply meaningful, this is one book you must not miss."
--- Elin Hilderbrand

"A tender portrait of a tangled, complicated, all-too real family, The Arrivals left me teary and fulfilled. A sparkling, page-turning debut."
--- Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of The One That I Want, Time of My Life, and Department of Lost and Found

"With crisp, insightful prose, Meg Mitchell Moore examines the anxieties, intimacies, wounds, misunderstandings, and joys that bind the Owen family as they face one long summer together. This lovely, satisfying story is an absolute pleasure to read."
--- Kelly O'Connor McNees, author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

"Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel, The Arrivals, reads like the finest of guidebooks, pointing out the beauty and excitement of an untraveled place, yet simultaneously offering readers a map of their own families, with the intricacies, misunderstandings, heartbreak, and forgiveness found there. Under Moore's deft and gloriously talented hand, the best kind of story telling is woven with epiphany, and readers will emerge knowing a place so close to home in an entirely new way."
--- Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

"[A] promising debut...Moore finds a crisp narrative in the morass of an overpacked household, and she keeps the proceedings moving with an assurance and outlook reminiscent of Laurie Colwin, evoking emotional universals with the simplest of observations."―Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Meg Mitchell Moore is the author of The Arrivals. She worked for several years as a journalist and her articles have been published in a wide variety of business and consumer magazines. She received a master's degree in English literature from New York University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their three children.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316097691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316097697
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,216,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore is a marvelously written story about mothers, daughters, and how chance encounters can change the life of people, even if only meeting through the pages of a diary a century after it was written.

So Far Away is a brilliantly woven story told through the two main characters of Kathleen and Natalie. Kathleen is the mother figure whose own daughter wants nothing to do with her. However, when Natalie comes into the archives where she works, she finds the chance to help this young teen with her troubles, and an unlikely friendship begins.

This novel also describes how cyber-bullying and real life bullying can have a devastating effect on those involved, and the message on this is one not to be missed. The character Natalie is a very realistic teen that struggles with being bullied in school, and her source of courage is found through the diary that she finds in her basement.

I really enjoyed this novel, and found it to be a touching story about the struggles of life and how we can find the courage to overcome them, even if from unlikely sources. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of So Far Away, Reagan Arthur Books, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a complex and multilayered story of love and loss. Meg Mitchell Moore eloquently tells the story of three different women and draws the reader into the joy and heartache of each. She addresses issues both timeless (the loss of a child) and timely (cyberbullying) in a way that stayed with me long after I'd finished reading.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down. I read for three straight days, something I haven't managed to do in a very, VERY long time. Meg Mitchell Moore's Far From Home has three main characters, a lonely older woman working in a library archive, a teenager who goes to the archive with hopes of figuring out her family tree, and the narrator of a 1925 journal that the teenager finds in her basement. Moore weaves together three seemingly disparate stories: cyber bullying, a mother whose daughter went missing almost twenty years ago, and the haunting regrets of a young Irish immigrant, and creates a layered novel full of tension and insight and beauty. A stellar second novel (Moore's first novel is moving family drama The Arrivals) by an incredibly talented author. I can't wait for her third!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book started out in such a promising way and it was all downhill from there. I liked Kathleen and Natalie and the side story about the notebook that was sort of a diary but it simply didn't work for me.

Maybe there were just too many main characters whose individual stories were enough for a book all on their own but in more than one place in the story I was tempted to give up and skip to the end. And if the author used the phrase "girls in trouble" one more time.......

So anyway I stuck it out and it just ended. With a whole lot of stuff unresolved. So I can figure it out and come to my own conclusions? I didn't write the book the author did and I think that's her job not mine.

My conclusion, it was just okay.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is going through an incredibly rough time. On the home front, her dad's just moved out, leaving Natalie alone with a seriously depressed mother who keeps downing sleeping pills. At school, Hannah - Natalie's best friend since first grade - has turned on her, joining the bullying and harassment started by popular girl Taylor.

Poor Natalie has nowhere to hide - at home and at school, she's equally alone.

Then a school assignment leads Natalie to Kathleen Lynch, a widowed middle-aged librarian whose only daughter ran away from home at age 17. Both Kathleen and Natalie are lacking in life, thus turning to one another for help. Their bond grows stronger over the intriguing story of Bridget, an Irish maid who is one of Natalie's ancestors. Quite accidentally, Natalie stumbled upon Bridget's diary in her basement and brought it to Kathleen for help deciphering the old-fashioned script.

Though all three women come from very different places, one thing is clear - they all need someone to lean on. While no one can help make anyone else's life happily ever after, having support through the hard times can make all the difference sometimes.
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