So Far Away

So Far Away

A Novel

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Reagan Arthur Books, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316097697
Branch Call Number: F Moo


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branch_reviews Feb 02, 2013

So Far Away follows the stories of three different women whose lives intersect. Natalie Gallagher is a thirteen year old girl whose parents recently separated and her mother is struggling with depression. She is assigned an independent study project and decides to trace her family tree. She travels across town to the Boston archives and meets the archives librarian Kathleen. Nathalie has discovered a notebook in her basement written in 1925 by Bridget an Irish maid. Each character has a secret – Natalie is a victim of cyber bullying, Kathleen longs for her long lost daughter and Bridget’s secret is revealed as Kathleen and Natalie read the diary. So Far Away is an interesting novel that crosses generations and eras. A good read. Reviewed by KH

Jan 20, 2013

Total agreement with other reviewers. This was a deviation from my usual books & very glad I tried it. I finished it in short time - large print.

Aug 09, 2012

I loved "The Arrivals" and really didn't think she could top herself again, but she did. A wonderfully honed writer of characters that we grow to care so much about. I didn't want this book to end (just like her first book). Now I have to wait for her third! A really poignant and current book on cyberbullying PLUS there is another story within the story that is just as interesting as the story in the book itself. She is such a wonderful author, love this book. Read it!!

booklady413 Jul 26, 2012

This novel was a very interesting read. It was told from the perspective of 3 different characters. The major character was a young girl who is being bullied. Added to that problem, her parents have recently separated, and her mom is sinking into a deep depression. The plot thickens when she meets a librarian who helps her find her family tree. However, the most interesting part of the plot is a notebook which she finds in her attic which chronicles the life of an Irish immigrant from the 1920's. Even though there are many threads woven into this story, it works well.

Jul 01, 2012

As a mother who is dealing with bullying by texts right now I found this interesting. It seems she really wrote three books in one (one about Natalie and the bullying, one about Kathleen and the loss of her daughter and one about Bridget from Ireland). I wished for more closure on all fronts and wanted to know more. A good author with an okay grasp of teens and their dependence on cell phones and peer approval.

Jun 21, 2012

Thirteen year old Natalie Gallagher finds a diary and researches it with the help of a library archivist. Interesting story of cyber-bullying and the power of friendship.


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