In the Distance with You

10 CDs. HighBridge Audio. Jun. 2018. 11:30 hrs. tr. from Spanish by John Cullen. ISBN 9781684412020. $39.99. digital download. F
Part historical fiction, part thriller, Guelfenbein's (The Rest Is Silence) latest is told from alternating points of view. There's Emilia, a Frenchwoman suffering from an illness that forces her to live her life in unique isolation, who comes to Chile to research reclusive author Vera Segall; Daniel, an architect, aspiring chef, and Vera's neighbor; and Horacio, a fellow writer with hidden ties to Vera's past and her work. These three characters circle Vera's life and death from the 1950s to the story's present, entering and leaving one another's orbits in surprising fashion and struggling to attribute meaning to their own existences with and without her. It is a story of moving forward, of the ties that bring people together and tear them apart, and the unexpected consequences of secrets, deception, and exile.
VERDICT Though some listeners might wish longer periods of time were spent with each character or that the author had incorporated more of the Chilean landscape and history into her narrative, literary fiction fans will find this a satisfying mystery and meditation on breaking free of the past in order to embrace the future. ["Suspense, emotions, and magic course through this beautifully narrated book. Highly recommended for fans of Latin American literature and general literary mysteries": LJ 4/1/18 starred review of the Other hc.]

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