The Distance Home by Paula Saunders

 

The Distance Home by Paula Saunders

" With her debut novel, Saunders brings to life a time and place that we don't hear about too often - rural South Dakota in the '60s and '70s - but her characters grapple with problems that feel all too universal.  When brother-and-sister pair Rene and Leon begin taking classes at their local ballet studio, they both show promise... but thanks to their inherent personalities and how the world treats them, their lives follow totally different trajectories.  Sounders does a lovely job not only evoking thing time and place, bu the complicated family dynamics at work. "  - Recommended by Erica
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The Distance Home: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525508748
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - August 7th, 2018

In the years after World War II, the bleak yet beautiful plains of South Dakota still embody all the contradictions—the ruggedness and the promise—of the old frontier. This is a place where you can eat strawberries from wild vines, where lightning reveals a boundless horizon, where descendants of white settlers and native Indians continue to collide, and where, for most, there are limited options.


René shares a home, a family, and a passion for dance with her older brother, Leon. Yet for all they have in common, their lives are on remarkably different paths. In contrast to René, a born spitfire, Leon is a gentle soul. The only boy in their ballet class, Leon silently endures often brutal teasing. Meanwhile, René excels at everything she touches, basking in the delighted gaze of their father, whom Leon seems to disappoint no matter how hard he tries.


As the years pass, René and Leon’s parents fight with increasing frequency—and ferocity. Their father—a cattle broker—spends more time on the road, his sporadic homecomings both yearned for and dreaded by the children. And as René and Leon grow up, they grow apart. They grasp whatever they can to stay afloat—a word of praise, a grandmother’s outstretched hand, the seductive attention of a stranger—as René works to save herself, crossing the border into a larger, more hopeful world, while Leon embarks on a path of despair and self-destruction.