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Sixteen-year-old Mina's mother is dead and her father--a magician who cut out her heart and replaced it with one made of glass--is cruel. When the two move to Whitespring Castle, Mina plans her escape in the arms of the king. She does not love him, but he is good and kind.
There was a moment near the end (that I won’t spoil for you) when I realized just how special In the Distance is, how much Diaz had played with our expectations, stretched the norms of storytelling, and created something totally unique. It’s a moment when (OK, a tiny spoiler) essentially nothing happens, but the way that nothing happens shows the real depth of Diaz’s novel.
When Margot runs up some very unauthorized charges on her dad's credit card
she has to spend her summer working in his Bronx grocery store
instead of in the Hamptons with her private school friends.
I've read more than one novel in the last year about people who are slipping into dementia, or have severe mental disabilities, or who are living with the psychological effects of a significant trauma.
One of the persistent, nagging facts about American reading habits is how we read very few books in translation.