Meg Mitchell Moore's debut novel, The Arrivals, was a well-received work that examined the complicated relationships that make up the modern family. With So Far Away, she will undoubtedly continue to engage readers while narrowing her focus to mothers and daughters.
So Far Away melds the story of three women, each struggling with separation from family, each burdened by a secret. Kathleen, a researcher at the Massachusetts State Archives, is a widow estranged from her runaway daughter. Natalie, a 13-year-old whose family has fallen apart after her parents' divorce, is the target of cyber-bullying by her former best friend. When Natalie discovers a long-lost journal in a box from the basement, she seeks Kathleen's help reading it for use in a school project. Through the journal Kathleen and Natalie are introduced to Bridget, a 20-year-old Irish girl who immigrated to the U.S. in 1925 to enter into service with a family in Massachusetts; she ends her time with the Turner family after a terrible tragedy--and with an untold burden.
Moore's prose allows the reader to move seamlessly between the women's stories, yet it is clear that Bridget's journal provides a circumstantial yet necessary connection between Kathleen and Natalie. This connection, between a mother and a daughter who are unrelated, may just provide the solace that both need to unburden themselves of their secrets, make peace with their families and move forward with their lives. --Roni K. Devlin, owner of Literary Life Bookstore & More