The Distance Home

In Orly Konig's debut novel, it's been 16 years since protagonist Emma Metz has set foot in her Maryland hometown. A terrible accident at the local Jumping Frog Farm involving her two best friends--a girl named Jilli and a horse named Jack--drove her away and she's never looked back. Until now.

Her emotionally distant father, who'd never recovered from the death of Emma's mother, has just passed away. As she organizes his affairs and sorts through his belongings, Emma is reminded of her deep and surprisingly abiding love for the farm where she spent the happiest years of her childhood. She also discovers a series of letters and drawings that reveal a closer connection between her damaged family and the farm than she could have guessed. Can Emma let the pain of the last 16 years go in the hopes of a happier future?

Gently paced and introspective, The Distance Home is told in the present, with important points in Emma's past featured through a series of flashbacks. Emma matures from an eight-year-old riding for the first time to a 16-year-old winning competitions left and right, coming full circle through her rise toward horse-riding superiority, fall from grace and journey back to the Jumping Frog Farm. A moving story of homecoming, forgiveness and reconciliation, The Distance Home will appeal to readers of Kristin Harmel or Katherine Reay. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

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