Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Far From Here by Nicole Baart

Far From Here
by Nicole Baart
Fiction
Published February 2012
Howard Books
352 pages



About the Book
How long do you hold on to hope? Danica Greene has always hated flying, so it was almost laughable that the boy of her dreams was a pilot. She married him anyway and together, she and Etsell settled into a life where love really did seem to conquer all. Danica is firmly rooted on the ground in Blackhawk, the small town in northern Iowa where they grew up, and the wide slashes of sky that stretch endlessly across the prairie seem more than enough for Etsell.

But when the opportunity to spend three weeks in Alaska helping a pilot friend presents itself, Etsell accepts and their idyllic world is turned upside down. It’s his dream, he reveals, and Danica knows that she can’t stand in the way. Ell is on his last flight before heading home when his plane mysteriously vanishes shortly after takeoff, leaving Danica in a free fall. Etsell is gone, but what exactly does gone mean? Is she a widow? An abandoned wife? Or will Etsell find his way home to her?

Danica is forced to search for the truth in her marriage and treks to Alaska to grapple with the unanswerable questions about her husband’s mysterious disappearance. But when she learns that Ell wasn’t flying alone and that a woman is missing, too, the bits and pieces of the careful life that she had constructed for them in Iowa take to the wind. A story of love and loss, and ultimately starting over, Far From Here explores the dynamics of intimacy and the potentially devastating consequences of the little white lies we tell the ones we love.

My Thoughts
I chose to review Far From Here because I read Beneath the Night Tree early last year. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was looking forward to reading another book by Nicole Baart.

The story opens with the trauma of Danica's husband's plane disappearing in Alaska. Unsure if Etsell is missing or dead, Danica can't simply move on. Instead she searches, waits, and hopes that he will return. Family and friends gather around her and support her as best they know how. Through the months of waiting, she relives the past ten years and realizes many things about their relationship, her husband, and herself. Will she ever be able to move on?

As I expected, Far From Here is a well-written, emotional story. Nicole has a unique way of helping readers feel the depth of emotion that each character feels. You can't walk away from this book thinking, "Well, that was a good book." No. Instead you feel a bit wrung out at the variety of emotions that reading it has evoked.

The cast of characters was unique. A dysfunctional family, surrogate mom, quirky neighbor. And somehow it meshed so that I ended up liking them in the end.

I had a few hangups with this book. First, it started almost painfully slow for me. Danica is not a very likeable character in the beginning of the book. I grew to like her through her flashbacks and as she dealt with her grief, but I did NOT like her in the beginning. I really had to push myself to keep reading. While the story picked up, I was still nearly halfway finished before I felt like I just had to know how it ended.

My second issue had to do with the alternating first and third person. The entire book focuses on Danica - regardless of which voice is speaking. In the beginning, especially, the switch between first and third person was just too abrupt. It just didn't flow well for me, and I had trouble making the transition. I actually (surprisingly) liked the first person voice better. Danica seemed so much more human in that voice.

Finally, the author uses some really strong language in this book. I was disappointed in the author for using this language and in the publisher (known for publishing faith-based books) for allowing it. It wasn't necessary and didn't add anything to the story. By the author's own admission on her blog, Far From Here is not a Christian book. I wish I had known that before I began reading so my expectations would have been different. [3.5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Nicole Baart was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. She and her husband have three young sons. After the adoption of their infant son, Nicole discovered a deep passion for global issues and co-founded a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, that works alongside a church and orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia. After the Leaves Fall and the sequel, Summer Snow (a 2009 Christy Award finalist for excellence in fiction), were Nicole's first books. She is also the author of The Moment Between and Beneath the Night Tree (February 2011), the anticipated conclusion of her first two books. The inspiration for Nicole's next novel was an unsolved murder near her hometown. Nicole and her family live in Iowa.

Nicole Baart Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments! Thanks for letting me know what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Labels

(in)courage (in)mercy 1 star 12 Pearls of Christmas 12 Pearls of Christmas 2012 12 Pearls of Christmas 2013 2 star 2 stars 2.5 stars 2012 Review 3 stars 3.5 stars 4 stars 4.5 stars 5 Minute Friday 5 stars A Year of Weddings Abingdon Press Advent Announcements ARC August Author B-H Books Banned Books Week Barbour Publishing BBAW 2012 beauty Bethany House Blitz Blog Action Day blog hop Blog Mooch Blog Tour Blogaversary Blogging Blogging for Change Blogside Chat Book Blast Book Club Book Trailer Thursday Bout of Books Bout of Books 11.0 Bout of Books 13.0 Bout of Books 7.0 Bout of Books 8.0 Bout of Books 9.0 Brookes Faves celebration Center Street CFBA challenge accepted Character Meet and Greet Charisma Media Children's Christian Speaker Services christianaudio Christmas Christy Awards Clean Sweet community Compassion Compassion Blog Month Contemporary Countdown to Christmas Cover Love Cover Reveal Dani Pettrey David C. Cook Devotion DiAnn Mills DNF Easter Egg Blog Hop End of Summer Read-A-Thon Etsy Events Faith Words Fall Into Reading 2012 FB Chat Fiction FIRST Food Freebies Friday Five Getting To Know You Giveaway Giveaway Hop Glass Road PR goals Grand Finale Great Escapes Guest Blogger Guideposts Books Harlequin Heartwarming Harvest House High Summer Read-A-Thon Historical home goods Hope International Howard Books If the Shoe Fits Influenster Inspired Design Publications Jody Hedlund Jolly VoxBox Just for Fun Kenya Kregel Publications Literacy Read-A-Thon LitFuse Publicity Looking Ahead Love for Books Love Inspired Mailbox Fun Month in Review Moody Publishers Mother of Pearl Mother of Pearl 2013 Movie Music NavPress Net Galley New Hope Publishers New Leaf Publishers New Release Feature Non-Fiction Operation Christmas Child pinterest pray pray for the horn Prism Book Tours Promo Random Random House Random Question RCCleanup read-a-thon Reading Cram reflections Reformation Trust Release Day Retirement Community Revell Review in Haiku River North Road to the Christys Road Trip Romance Samaritan's Purse Sandra Byrd Sandra D Bricker Sandra Leesmith scripture Secret Church shutterfly snacks Snappy Reviews Sneak Peek Spring Break '11 Spring Reading Thing SSMT SSMT 2013 Sterling Summer Lovin' Read-A-Thon summer reading Summerside Press Susan May Warren Suspense Take a Chance on Me Tamera Alexander Tanzania Teaser Tuesday Tens List The B-B Media Group The Story Behind the Story The Travel Bug The Word Thomas Nelson Thursday 3 Top 10 Top Picks Top Ten Tuesday Trailer Tricia Goyer Tyndale House Waiting on Wednesday WaterBrook Multnomah webcast WestBow Press What Are You Reading What's Next Whitaker House WinePress Publishing World Watch List WWW Wednesdays YA Young Adult Zondervan
Powered by Blogger.