The Distance Home

Paula Saunders

23 January 2020
256 pages


Must a child's past define their future?

'Stark and beautiful . . . I haven’t read anything this good in a long time' – Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Set on the rugged plains of South Dakota, The Distance Home is the story of René and Leon, two children who grow up side by side but end up on very different paths. René is clever, athletic, aggressive, a go-getter, the apple of her father's eye; while Leon is shy, tender-hearted, a stutterer, constantly struggling for acknowledgement. They both possess a talent for dance, but it is a gift their father adores in his daughter and loathes in his son.

A heartbreaking saga of familiar turmoil, a child's desire for acceptance, and the ways in which our parents shape the adults we become, Paula Saunders' The Distance Home is a breathtaking new examination of the American dream and the eternal question of how any of us can finally be free.

'A heartfelt tale of brutal parental love' The Times

Deeply involving . . . rich, shimmering, sensuous
Stark and beautiful . . . luminous . . . Heartbreaking, full of compassion . . . I haven’t read anything this good in a long time
A heartfelt tale of brutal parental love . . . one of the most convincing portraits of a mother-daughter bond that I have read . . . generous, humane