June 26, 2012

So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore

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.

Book Description
Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is trying to escape: from her parents' ugly divorce, and from the vicious cyber-bullying of her former best friend. Adrift, confused, she is a girl trying to find her way in a world that seems to either neglect or despise her. Her salvation arrives in an unlikely form: Bridget O'Connell, an Irish maid working for a wealthy Boston family. The catch? Bridget lives only in the pages of a dusty old 1920s diary Natalie unearthed in her mother's basement. But the life she describes is as troubling - and mysterious - as the one Natalie is trying to navigate herself, almost a century later. 

I am writing this down because this is my story. There were only ever two people who knew my secret, and both are gone before me.

Who was Bridget, and what became of her? 

Natalie escapes into the diary, eager to unlock its secrets, and reluctantly accepts the help of library archivist Kathleen Lynch, a widow with her own painful secret: she's estranged from her only daughter. Kathleen sees in Natalie traces of the daughter she has lost, and in Bridget, another spirited young woman at risk. 

What could an Irish immigrant domestic servant from the 1920s teach them both? As the troubles of a very modern world close in around them, and Natalie's torments at school escalate, the faded pages of Bridget's journal unite the lonely girl and the unhappy widow - and might even change their lives forever.” – So Far Away

My Thoughts
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.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Oh this sounds like one I'd like