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Time is the Longest Distance Paperback – 11 December 2018
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"In Janet Clare's impressive debut, Time Is the Longest Distance, Lilly, a restless New Yorker, is summoned by her mother back to Los Angeles to discover she's in fact the product of a secret fling her mother once had with a rugged Australian. Following her mother's footsteps to the Antipodes, Lilly tracks down her mercurial birth father and lights upon more than she could have imagined. In propulsive, exacting strokes, Clare deftly moves us through a time out of time in a faraway place. A taut, compelling adventure, exploring little known landscapes, and the depth and breadth of a woman's yearning." David Francis, author of Stray Dog Winter, Wedding Bush Road, Agapanthus Tango
"How could you not love a novel set against the Australian outback? About fierce love, endless longing, ravenous desire, and the secrets that derail us and ruin others. A phenomenally moving experience (it's so much more than a novel), Clare's debut shows a complex web of relationships that shifts as much as a desert itself--and is just as gorgeous." Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World and the New York Times Bestsellers Is this Tomorrow and Pictures of You
"When Lilly, rocked by a family secret, agrees to trek through the Australian outback with her newly-discovered father, brother, and niece, the terrain is as remote and unfamiliar as her traveling companions. There in the crowded vehicle, the torment of past relationships pursues her--wanting adventure while wanting safety, feeling cramped and yet never close enough. A poignant and witty story of survival, trust, and awakening." Susan Henderson, author of The Flicker of Old Dreams
"In deft, clear prose that reminds of both Cheryl Strayed and Michael Ondaatje, Janet Clare's debut explores--in riveting, unflinching detail--a woman's search for connection and meaning. In Lilly's journey, with unfamiliar family in unfamiliar territory, we have a protagonist wanting in the ways we are all wanting: to find that thing that will make us complete. There are depths in these characters and I loved every word." Christian Kiefer, author of The Animals
About the Author
- Publisher : Vine Leaves Press (11 December 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 214 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1925417824
- ISBN-13 : 978-1925417821
- Dimensions : 11.99 x 1.24 x 19 cm
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Lilly, the protagonist, is in her 40s when she learns a family secret that will send her on a journey to the Australian outback, searching for a father she hadn't known existed. Along the way Lilly makes some decisions that can only be described as questionable and messy, but which make her more believable and real. Her experiences in Australia will help Lilly understand her mother's character and choices, thus bridging some of the rift in their tense relationship. Also, throughout the book we feel Lilly's nostalgia for her alcoholic ex-husband and their life together.
I'm being purposefully vague about the plot so as to not give away any clues, but I will say this: it's good, entertaining reading; the kind you read fast because you want to keep going without stopping; and finishing it has left me stranded somewhere out in that Australian desert.
This is one author that must not be missed!
Lilly strikes me as believable and consistent. Brutally self-aware, she owns her flaws and her personality. Rather than provide one quip after another, she leaves thoughts unspoken, as we all do.
More importantly, as she navigates the strange journey that includes a half-brother and his young adult daughter, the amount of dysfunction resulting from the cover-up of the birth, and the procreation of a man who’s so clearly unsuited to fatherhood, resonates with the reality most of us endure at some level, though for different unaddressed problems.