A beautiful debut novel that contemplates relationships, responsibility, betrayal, and longing.
Susannah Prue is a young, unmarried surrogate mother who, in the days before her delivery date, panics. Jumping into her car, she flees her Chicago home and a few days later pulls up to a bleak motel in the Southwestthe Thunder Lodge. There, she encounters misfits, much like herself, who also carry secrets: the motels terse proprietors, their mentally disabled son, and a woman transporting her niece to the father shes never met. But when the parents of Susannahs baby discover her whereabouts, she can no longer ignore the profound power she holds over their lives.
Beautifully written, How Far Is the Ocean from Here explores the ways in which people care for one another and the ways in which they fail, the kinds of families we create when we have no one else to turn to, and the strangeness and unpredictability of love.
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"An accomplished and sophisticated debut ... [T]he cast is fully and compassionately realized, making for an affecting portrayal of the lengths people travel for love and companionship." - Publishers Weekly.
"Her narrative skills are often ragged, with viewpoints sliding around like butter in a skillet, and the climax is botched. Shearn only needs to add artistic discipline to her other gifts to be a formidable talent." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Shearn gives us a touching, funny, and lyrically written story with well-drawn characters seeking acceptance and peace." - Library Journal.
"Amy Shearns first novel is a hugely auspicious debut. Sentence by sentence, the writing stays sharp and memorable, and the plot slyly takes us on a road-trip that is both frightening and comic. In a culture where hardly anyone knows what parenting is anymore, this novel has a story to tell on the subject, a story that rises incrementally in speed and momentum, from the first page to the last." - Charles Baxter, author of Feast of Love.
"Once in a while you read a first novel in which the narrative hand is so steady, the characters so lively and original, that you finish it certain youll be hearing a lot more from this author. Amy Shearn's How Far Is the Ocean From Here is just such a book - funny, engaging, and captivating from beginning to end." Mark Childress, author of One Mississippi and Crazy in Alabama.
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