Excerpt from The Distance Between Us by Masha Hamilton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Distance Between Us

By Masha Hamilton

The Distance Between Us
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Nov 2004,
    304 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2005,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"How about your phone number, then?" he jokes, pseudo-husky, leaning in again to smell her cheek. She laughs, shoving him off. He winks, and the color of his eyes makes her think of olives resting in martinis.

Okay, so she’s partial to his blond good looks, his humor, and his consummate skill with a camera. She likes that he’s drawn to her face without make-up and her constantly disheveled short hair. But they aren’t a couple; spare her that conventionality. They are colleagues. Plus lovers, when the mood strikes. Both of them journalists who find the story irresistible and plan to live in it a long time. Discussions about relationships soon bore her. Too much dependency invariably backfires, in her experience.

Usually she thinks Marcus agrees. There are, of course, those other times. Like in the hotel bar last night. She’d been talking about how she didn’t want to sign another year-long lease on her apartment, and he’d said she’d become afraid to commit to anything, too hooked on the ephemeral news story to ever be satisfied with the solidityness of real life. His tone was surprisingly wistful. She refused, though, to give him a serious response. They were in a bar, after all, with colleagues. Screw you, she’d countered, laughing. News stories are real life. And they were—a form of it, anyway, the way bottled perfume was a form of odor. Besides, I’m just talking about a lease. She could tell he wanted to say more, but he took another slug of beer, letting it drop.

The mustachioed militiaman who collected their cards strides out of the hut, shaking his head as though he’s uncovered a plot. He motions. Their driver—what’s his name? Hussein? Mohammed?—glances back without meeting anyone’s eyes. Grains of sweat darken his temples and bead above his lips. He slides from the jeep, taking the keys with him, as if these journalists were inmates, plotting to drive off and leave him behind in the vacuous Lebanese landscape. Christ.

The gunman speaks to the driver in a dull slur that Caddie can’t make out. Their guard is still swaying, his AK-47 balanced delicately in his arms and pointed in their direction. The crickets grow loud, unusual for midday.

The driver shuffles back and passes out press cards. Three.

"Excuse me," Marcus says. "Where’s mine?"

The driver shrugs.

"Brilliant." Marcus swings out of the jeep, the two Nikons around his neck bouncing.

Their pear-belly guard stiffens, aiming his gun at Marcus’s chest. Caddie reaches from the Land Rover to try to grab Marcus’s arm, but he’s too far away.

"Okay, okay." Marcus raises his hands. "I need my card back. Card. Back. Comprenez?"

The guard holds his gun steady.

"Tell him, Catherine." He’s still grinning, still outwardly confident that this adventure is manageable, no more threatening than a Ferris wheel ride. But Caddie knows he drops her nickname only at serious moments,

"My colleague, please, must have his press identification," Caddie says in Arabic, addressing both militiamen, trying for a there-must-be-a-small-mistake smile. "Then we will depart, thank you."

The mustachioed militiaman speaks shotgun-fast to the driver—to Caddie it sounds like "these beans should be fried again in Syria,"—and the driver listens without expression. Caddie’s Arabic isn’t bad, but now she wishes, deeply, for a better grasp of local colloquialisms.

Another man emerges from the hut. Shirtless, skinny and muscular, he appears younger than the others. His face is creased in irritation. His hair sticks up in tufts as though he’s been unwillingly roused from bed. Carrying no weapon, he walks with shoulders high, hands alert, fingers slightly extended. Caddie’s tongue suddenly tastes metallic.

From The Distance Between Us by Masha Hamilton.  Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Unbridled Books.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.