The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson

November 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

milesDestiny lives her life in isolation, never staying at more than one boarding school for too long – since the ripe age of seven. She prides herself in her gift of paying attention to details – How does each person eat their breakfast? What else happened on this exact day in the past? There is no such thing as coincidence. As the book unfolds, you learn more and more about Des and start to understand why she is so scared to get attached to anyone, to make friends. Her parents left her when she was little and never came back, right after they had a new baby — who they kept. A mysterious Aunt visits her regularly but cannot adopt her; and all of Des’s hope hangs on her Aunt’s visits. One October 19th her Aunt can’t make it and Des starts to feel herself falling apart, again. She yearns for a day when, for once, everything might be fair and just and when she happens upon a car on the lawn with a key in the ignition and the door open, she thinks maybe that fair day is this day — all she needs is someone who knows how to drive. A road trip is born when three other students end up getting in the car and the four of them decide to drive to the closest big town two hours away. Although I didn’t find this to be “the best” novel, it was one I found hard to put down and couldn’t wait to get back to. The more it goes on, the more you want to know just what happened to Des and how much she will reveal to these students who actually become her first friends. The poetic self-reflection is a little bit much for my taste, but it is a well written interesting book that would work well for book discussion groups.

Amy Kaplan, Briarcliff Manor

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