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So Far Away

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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,265 ratings  ·  256 reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Brittany Beck YES THANK YOU! Nothing was wrapped up in the slightest. Very disappointing.

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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,265 ratings  ·  256 reviews


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Lyndz
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, own
The main and most central theme of this book is bullying and its ramifications. Anyone who is considering reading this should know this right up front.
For some reason or another, I thought this book was going to be about this neato mysterious old diary, and watching the characters as they discover the history and story behind the diary. While this did happen, to some extent, it was definitely more of a side note. The main theme is bullying.

Why do I say bullying is the central theme?
The lady who
...more
Rosie
May 26, 2012 rated it liked it

Mini-Summary: A lonely archivist, Kathleen Lynch, emotionally scarred by the loss of her own husband and daughter, befriends a teenage girl, Natalie Gallagher, who is struggling with the divorce of her parents and cyberbullying from girls at school. This unlikely pair comes together through mutual interest in a mysterious diary written in the 1920s by an Irish nanny, Bridget Callaghan, who has secret struggles of her own.

Some Thoughts (Spoiler-ish, fair warning):
I won this ARC in a First Reads g
...more
Dawn
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I impulsively snagged this from the library this Saturday morning. Despite laundry, housekeeping and beginning the colossal job of packing to move into our new house, I finished it this afternoon.

Moore is an author I was not familiar with but she's definitely on my radar now. This story just kept moving. It wasn't thrilling, or action packed, yet so compelling.

Kathleen works in a archives library in Boston. Years ago, her daughter Susannah ran away after Kathleen confronted her about suspected d
...more
Stacy
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This story had such great potential, with 3 separate stories being woven together. One of those stories comes from a tall, skinny yet beautiful 13 year old girl whose mother is nearly non-existent, her father is busy finding someone else to love and her best friend has become one of her cyber bullies. Another part of the story is an older lady who has 'lost' her only child, and then the third comes from a very old book found in a basement. I was intrigued, because I love that concept of finding ...more
Alex
May 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Hm. So I won an advanced readers copy of this book for the purposes of reviewing, I imagine.
I got about a page in and already knew-- the characters would be irritating. More on that another time. The two mains are dealing with harsh realities: one has a junkie daughter God-knows-where and the other has recently divorced parents-- dad's got a new girlfriend and mom doesn't even get dressed these days. The way the author approaches the mindsets of each just seems rather... shallow.
Also, the author
...more
Erica
Ehhh, this one just didn't do it for me. I had a difficult time getting over many of my pet peeves such as the recurrence of a word throughout a sentence or paragraph, poorly-formed sentence structure that made me halt and re-listen to figure out what was really being said, and character cluelessness. These things often get in the way of my ability to enjoy a story and this time was no exception.
I found Kathleen to be a loathsome character, though I'm not sure that was the intent. I was shocked
...more
Chris Ficcardi
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The lives of three women; a teen deeply affected by modern-day cyber-bullying, an early twentieth century Irish immigrant servant girl, and a middle aged archivist, are spun together in a story that transcends time. Moore’s ability to craft a meaningful and poignant story, while developing characters that seem to speak directly to the reader on so many levels, is astounding. I have not been so transfixed by a book in a long, long time. Upon finishing So Far Away I immediately special ordered a c ...more
Jennifer
May 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Oh, how the blurb for this book deceived me. I thought it would be flip flopping back and forth in time telling 2 different stories. And, while you do have a subplot involving the diary of a woman from the 1800's, it is only the impetus to move the present day story along.

I found this book highly depressing. And the storyline involving cyberbullying was incredibly anxiety provoking, in my opinion. It felt to me like so many other contemporary women's fiction where the characters are floating thr
...more
Diane S ☔
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I first started reading this book I thought that though it was well written that nothing very much was happening, but this is one of those books that slowly but surely draws you in and keeps you there. The characters were wonderful, they became the people who live down the street from you, they were so very human in their failing, their problems and their lives. They tackle real crises, the same ones we all have to face every day, the challenges we try so hard to overcome and it was these c ...more
Heidi
Jun 01, 2018 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Listened to fifty percent before setting aside. Story didn’t grab me. Was bothered by the bullying. Felt no connection to the characters. Best to part ways with this one as I was dreading listening to it.
Drew Hamilton
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book
The premise set forth on the cover led me to believe that this was a book about exploring the life of woman from before our narrators' time. This was pretty much misleading. The whole novel played out like a "ripped from the headlines" made-for-TV Lifetime movie.

First, our narrators:

Natalie - She is the only character in the book worth rooting for. Her struggle against the cyber-bullying felt real and was heartbreaking. Natalie, like some many other kids of the post-90s era, has access to all ki
...more
Abby
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was not impressed with this novel. I found it interesting enough to keep reading, but I can't say much more for it than that. The main character (a 50-something woman) is unlikable and difficult to relate to, and the other major character (a teenage girl), while being more sympathetic, is not much more engaging. The story-within-the-story is difficult to believe, and the connections the author tries to draw between the characters are unlikely at best and downright implausible at worst. Perhaps ...more
Susan O'brien
Aug 02, 2012 rated it liked it
So I really wanted to like this book based on the description. And most of the book, it was good. Well written, plot seemed promising, empathy for the characters. But somehow the tempo of the book threw me. Maybe there was too much going on? Too many competing story lines, too many foundering characters, so much pain. But I will say this ... I stayed up past my bed time to finish it last night. So there is something about this story that you want to see to the end. For me, I needed to make sure ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Originally posted here.

I make no secret of my affinity for books about libraries and librarians. If I see that it's about a librarian, I will add a book to my to-read list, except maybe the romance novels, and, should I spot one of those at Goodwill, I would probably by it, later forcing my friends to listen to a dramatic reading, because that's just the kind of person I am. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I requested this because of the word 'archivist' in the description, because I think otherwise I w
...more
Kelly Hager
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
So Far Away is the story of three women (well, technically, two women and a teenage girl). Kathleen works at the Archives and is missing her only child, Susannah, who ran away years ago. Natalie is dealing with cyberbullying (victim, not perpetrator) and is looking into her ancestry. The third, Bridget, was a servant in the 1920s. Natalie finds her journal and brings it to Kathleen. So...what connects these three people?

I wanted to read this book because now anything that contains a journal will
...more
Alyse
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a GoodReads First Read - and I LOVED it. I enjoyed so many aspects of this book. The length was perfect - long enough for character development, but not so long that I got bored. The characters themselves were diverse and the situations realistic: a mother "losing" her daughter to drugs and the wrong crowd, a gay couple going through the international adoption process, a high school freshman being bullied and losing a best friend, a mother dealing with depression after a ...more
Sapphire
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mostly-fluff
I picked this book hastily from my local library's "staff picks" section, and am rather glad I did. The story drew me in instantly and I finished the book in a day. There were times where the characters were rather annoying and parts where I just wanted to slap Kathleen across the face for being so... naive despite her age and life experience. There were other times when the relationship between Natalie and Kathleen seemed rather creepy, but others where it made perfect sense that Kathleen cared ...more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
An interesting and new way to approach cyber bullying. The hot topic was a part of this novel, but not the sole center, which I appreciated. Natalie - a high school freshmen and Kathleen - a career woman who has lost both a daughter and a husband are an unlikely pair, but their relationship in this book was perfectly scripted.

Without any chapters, this book was interesting as it switched focus between the characters with strategic spacing. Because the book switched between characters, the reader
...more
Angela Holtz
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From Lilac Wolf and Stuff

I'm officially a fan of Meg Mitchell Moore. She weaves tales that put you on the emotional roller coaster with her vivid characters.

There are lots of people in this story, but only two main characters whose perspectives we get. As the synopsis states, Nat is a very sad character, getting bullied (not just cyber) while her parents are going through a divorce. Kathleen has been a widower for many years. Her young adult daughter has been missing for a few years, since she r
...more
Sharon
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore. I think I loved this book more. Something about her books resonates with me. This is not a happy book but it is a hopeful book. It is the story of a friendship between widowed Kathleen and cyber-bullied 13 year old Natalie. Natalie finds a diary in the basement of her family home of an Irish immigrant. The bullying storyline was so disturbing and made me grateful my daughters were in school before the age of texting and You Tube. I felt for Kathleen go ...more
Siobhan Fallon
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put this book down. I read for three straight days, something I haven't managed to do in a very, VERY long time. Meg Mitchell Moore's Far From Home has three main characters, a lonely older woman working in a library archive, a teenager who goes to the archive with hopes of figuring out her family tree, and the narrator of a 1925 journal that the teenager finds in her basement. Moore weaves together three seemingly disparate stories: cyber bullying, a mother whose daughter went missin ...more
Stephanie
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I was intrigued by the main character of Kathleen, an older lady with no family, an interesting career at the Massachusetts Archives, and struggling to accept that her teenaged daughter ran away. I empathized with the secondary character of Natalie, a (different) teenaged girl who is the victim of increasingly escalating cyberbullying. I admire that Kathleen interjected herself into Natalie's life and made her actions count. I aspire to make such a difference. This bo ...more
Donna
The slow pace and effortless flow drew me into the story and unfolded the characters lives and personalities bit by bit while also entwining them all together. Overall enjoyable read, nothing outstanding one way or another but definitely a story you can relax with.
Mrtruscott
Jan 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'm sure it's a good book; many seemed to like it. Not my cuppa tea.
Amanda
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: love-the-library
I have to say I liked this book more than I thought I would. I'm a confirmed Anglophile when it comes to fiction books, so I have a tendency to avoid American fiction. (I have decided my life took a serious wrong turn somewhere, and I'm supposed to be living in England). Anyway, this was a very intriguing book. The two main characters (the story is told from both of their POVs) are a true literary odd couple. A teenager dealing with her parent's separation and the changing social landscape at sc ...more
Kimberley Anderson
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book started out a bit like a chick-lit, easy to read novel that I thought would be good for mindlessly listening to while doing laundry, housework, etc. It's much more than that, and I'm not quite sure why all the blase reviews except maybe people expected the story to wrap up in a pretty bow at the end? It's a very good story, with some very good writing that you could still pick up for a beach read. At times it does dance a bit on being a YA novel, not that is a bad thing. The weaving in ...more
Lindy
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leslie Hayden
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-books
This was the first book I've read by this author. I read the back cover and that's what made me pursue the book. It was an average read. Although I did like the book I found it to be dry. When reading the back cover I expected the journal parts to be gripping and to have some form of familial and historical aspects. I was expecting it to be a page that I and was let down. It was very hard reading Natalie's part because I, too, was bullied badly as a child and many times thought about doing the s ...more
Ally
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
A great overlapping story from one of my new favorite authors. I was about to start Moore's newest book when I discovered this previous one and couldn't resist. Set in Boston, it already had my attention, but the story of Natalie being bullied, Kathleen trying to save her as she could not her own daughter and the discovery of a diary that would tie up lose ends, had me hooked. This was one of those great books I wanted to race through, and had to pace myself so as not to miss anything.
Highly rec
...more
Ruth
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this book from the library yesterday afternoon, and finished it today. I am going back to the library tomorrow to get her next book. I loved this book for so many reasons, beginning with the characters, and the fact that it is set mainly in Newburyport, MA, the town I live in. I don't want to say too much about the story, because I don't want to be a spoiler. All I can say is, I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
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Meg Mitchell Moore's fifth novel, The Islanders, will be published by William Morrow in June 2019 and is a July Indie Next Pick. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three teenaged and almost-teenaged daughters.
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“She liked Neil also because he never asked about Susannah. Neil seemed to accept the hole in her life without feeling the need to stick his finger into it, feeling around for the tender parts, the way most people did.” 0 likes
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