The Distance - Zoe Folbigg
Reading Challenge Category: Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge - a book you chose for the cover
Under the midnight sun of Arctic Norway, Cecilie goes online looking for friends, and stumbles across Hector Herrera. They start chatting and soon realise that 'love at first word' might just be possible. But there are two big problems: Hector lives thousands of miles away in Mexico. And he's about to get married. Cecilie's whole life has been anchored by sticking to what she knows, and her job at the cafe in the town in which she grew up. Can she really change her whole life for someone she's never met? And will Hector escape his turbulent past, not to mention his imminent marriage, and make a leap of faith to change the path he's on?
I really enjoyed Zoe Folbigg’s first book ‘The Note’, and I expected the same amazing things from this book. However, it was a real struggle to read. Time jumps don’t usually phase me; I can cope with them if they are well thought out and executed. These time jumps were all over the place; you’d be in the current time chapter and then Hector would reminisce about something in the past, and you’d be totally bewildered to where about in the story you were. Also, as time caught up and you were in the past in 2018 (2018 is also the current year), that was very confusing! Although, Kate’s story became relevant about halfway through it still seemed to stick out a little like a sore thumb. I’m not sure this really added anything to the book, and I would have rather just concentrated on Hector and Cecille. As sad as her tale was I kept wanting to be back to the ‘real’ story! The main thing that bugged me was the foreign language words scattered randomly throughout the book. Luckily I speak a little Spanish so I could pick up most of those and I’m assuming it was Norwegian was fortunately similar to German so I could pick up a bit of what was said. However, there were many vital words to the story that I drew a blank on, and this was very frustrating as I felt I was missing out on parts of the narrative! We knew Hector was Mexican and Cecille Norwegian, we knew (as the language barrier was repeatedly pointed out) that they conversed in their own language when not together, and it was only in English for the purpose of the book. So the random words were not needed. They would only have worked if the characters had been speaking English the entire time and threw in the odd native word. I enjoyed the story between Hector and Cecile, and it was very heartfelt. The ending, however, felt very rushed. I would have liked a little more on them meeting for the first time. I felt quite cheated at the end as we had been working up to it and then it was over! This book could have been so much better, but unfortunately, it was a little bit of a letdown.