The Distance Home by Orly Konig
The Distance Home is lovely book about how a difficult adolescence can shape the things we do and the choices we make later in life. Can we overcome our insecurities and needs of the past to become fully engaged adults?
For me, the heart of the story was about how the intense “best friend” bond we sometimes make as teenagers inevitably fades as people grow up and move apart. It’s hard for a teenage girl to feel left out or left behind.
For our heroine Emma, her flawed childhood ends up haunting and shaping her values and sense of self long into adulthood. It’s a relief to witness her start to break those chains and begin to better understand the past so she can fully live in the present. We also wonder if she can ever reconcile with her best friend Jillian, as they share a love of horses and a feeling of home with the farm where they rode as kids.
We also see in this story how absentee mothers (whether due to illness or neglect) can impact daughters at vulnerable times of their lives. While we never get more than a glimpse of either Emma’s mother or Jillian’s mother, their absence plays a huge role in the story.
I really enjoyed the horses in this book! I was transported back to the days (I was about 11 to 13 years old) when I loved to ride and spent time at a local stable. My daughter went through the same phase when she was the same age. While riding wasn’t ultimately for either of us, it was nice to be reminded of the smell of the hay and the feeling of bonding with a sweet animal much bigger and stronger than ourselves. Horses do seem to have a healing power for many people, and you could feel how true that was for Emma.
Learn more about author Orly Konig at her website: www.orlykonig.com.