book cover of The Distance Home

The Distance Home

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
"A deeply involving portrait of the American postwar family" (Jennifer Egan) about sibling rivalry, dark secrets, and a young girl's struggle with freedom and artistic desire

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.

Rene 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 Rene, a born spitfire, Leon is a gentle soul. The only boy in their ballet class, Leon silently endures often brutal teasing. Meanwhile, Rene 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, Rene 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 Rene 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 Rene works to save herself, crossing the border into a larger, more hopeful world, while Leon embarks on a path of despair and self-destruction.

Tender, searing, and unforgettable, The Distance Home is a profoundly American story spanning decades - a tale of haves and have-nots, of how our ideas of winning and losing, success and failure, lead us inevitably into various problems with empathy and caring for one another. It's a portrait of beauty and brutality in which the author's compassionate narration allows us to sympathize, in turn, with everyone involved.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"In Paula Saunders’ The Distance Home, a family’s story traces the intricate, often subterranean lines that connect damage to redemption, creation to dissolution, and the everyday to the eternal, just to name several of its moving and startling aspects. It’s a true, and rare, accomplishment." - Michael Cunningham

"A deeply involving portrait of the American postwar family: its promises and disruptions . . . surrounded by a rich, shimmering, sensuous landscape." - Jennifer Egan

"Set in a landscape at once stark and beautiful, here is a luminous novel about the intricacies of family life and family love . . . Heartbreaking, full of compassion, and prose that feels it has always been there, not even forged from nothing, but essentially true. I haven’t read anything this good in a long time." - Rachel Joyce

"A bracing and beautiful novel about a fierce struggle for love and understanding in a South Dakota family, and about aspiration (both thwarted and encouraged) in an unforgiving place. Read it - it will break your heart and open it up." - Maile Meloy

"Extraordinary . . . Paula Saunders writes beautiful, evocative prose that engages you in every aspect of this world. The Distance Home is heart-breaking and full of compassion while also managing to be exacting, precise and truthful. It accomplishes what great fiction should: we get a glimpse of our own humanity." - Dana Spiotta

"Honest, and true, and more - this soul-searching first novel offers everywhere that most mysterious and essential of artistic achievements: heart." - Douglas Unger


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Used availability for Paula Saunders's The Distance Home

Hardback Editions

January 2019 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Distance Home
Author(s): Paula Saunders
ISBN: 1-5098-9532-9 / 978-1-5098-9532-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Distance Home: A Novel
Author(s): Paula Saunders
ISBN: 0-525-50874-0 / 978-0-525-50874-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

August 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Distance Home
Author(s): Paula Saunders
ISBN: 1-5098-9533-7 / 978-1-5098-9533-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Distance Home the Mrexp
Author(s): Paula Saunders
ISBN: 0-525-51169-5 / 978-0-525-51169-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Random House USA Ex
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

January 2019 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Distance Home
Author(s): Paula Saunders
Publisher: Macmillan Digital Audio
Availability: Amazon   


January 2019 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Distance Home
Author(s): Paula Saunders
Publisher: Macmillan Digital Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2018 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Distance Home: A Novel
Author(s): Paula Saunders
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


August 2018 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Distance Home: A Novel
Author(s): Paula Saunders
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

August 2018 : Australia Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Distance Home
Author(s): Paula Saunders
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon AU   


August 2018 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Distance Home
Author(s): Paula Saunders
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2018 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Distance Home: A Novel
Author(s): Paula Saunders
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA