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Review Excerpts

NewCenturyReading.com – December 12, 2004
“Timely, yet timeless... An eye-opening book for readers far removed from [the Middle East], who only see it through news accounts or on TV... She never takes the easy answer nor allows her characters to fall into stereotypes… Not a happy story, but one so well-written and intriguing that it shouldn’t be ignored. The Distance Between Us is a novel that closes the distance between reader and story quickly, and the reader is better off for it.”
-- Amy C. Rea

iVillage Recommendation – December 2004
“Masha Hamilton, who was a foreign correspondent for the AP for 10 years, gets at the inner strains and stresses of the journalists who do this kind of work, with the confidence of a fellow traveler. Without moralizing about the Middle East conflict, she focuses on the emotions of the journalists who are trying to stay objective but are having trouble being dispassionate… The best way to immortalize this fearless group is with a great story... [that] Will get you thinking and break your heart.”
-- Beth Pinsker

Rocky Mountain News – December 27, 2004
“Hamilton's novel is a compelling look at the emotional challenges and psychological extremes of covering a war with a shifting front line, as well as a convincing story of love and self-discovery. ... A former war correspondent in the Middle East and Moscow, Hamilton writes with the passion of someone who has witnessed firsthand the religious and cultural complexities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In an era when the richness of the Middle East is so often diluted by our American sensibilities, The Distance Between Us is not only compelling and fast-paced, but timely and enlightening as well.”
-- Jennie A. Camp

San Diego Union-Tribune – December 5, 2004
“[A] searing novel... A journalist immerses herself in the problems of others in order to avoid facing her own. But The Distance Between Us reworks the cliche deftly, first by flat-out acknowledging it – Caddie is nothing if not self-aware – then twisting it sideways, as the reporter begins to hurl herself into the crucible of hatred and vengeance, not as a benumbed teen scores herself with a razor in an attempt to feel something, but as a means of intensifying her pain, hoping to smash through the wall of her reasoned existence and achieve the state of hatred and thirst for vengeance that she sees all around her.”
-- Arthur Salm

The Denver Post – November 07, 2004
“Horrifying yet touching saga... Hamilton knows the geographic beauty and the unending blood feuds of the Middle East. She knows it as a journalist, she knows it as a resident - the sights, sounds, smells of life and death seem to fill her every pore… The Distance Between Us works well on so many levels. The plotting is flawless. The pacing is just right - sometimes reflective, sometimes action-packed. Hamilton is an accomplished stylist as well… If The Distance Between Us is representative of future Unbridled fiction, the new imprint deserves lots of sales.”
-- Steve Weinberg

MostlyFiction.com – November 7, 2004
“The Distance Between Us is an extraordinarily powerful, beautifully crafted novel. Masha Hamilton's prose is, at times, luminescent and lyrical, and at others, spare and almost brutal in its honesty… Ms. Hamilton brings her characters to life on these pages, especially Caddie. She is developed lovingly, and the changes she makes in the novel’s 279 pages are intense and deeply felt. The novel’s secondary characters are phenomenal, real originals... The author’s vivid descriptions of Jerusalem bring that city to life…evoke a timelessness and enrich the novel tremendously. This is a rare book – a real find.”
-- Jana Kraus

Christian Science Monitor – November 2, 2004
“Exciting... bracing... sometimes poetic, sometimes.... The Distance Between Us also dramatizes difficult issues about what draws reporters - and readers - to stories of violence... Hamilton knows noble answers to these questions - the need for witnesses to break the world's complacency and lead to resolution - but she also knows how pat those answers can become. She's determined to plumb the conflicted motives of people who rush to see danger in the world or in their newspaper. The result is a powerful portrayal of religious warfare and an unsettling challenge to anyone watching.”
-- Ron Charles

Library Journal (Starred Review) – October 2004
“In her second novel (after Staircase of a Thousand Steps), Hamilton, once a foreign correspondent, has crafted a compelling tale of reprisal and endurance with a rich cast of characters. With prose both beguiling and elegant, the story will strike a chord in readers following current events in the Middle East. Recommended for all public libraries.”
-- Christopher J. Korenowsky

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) – October 25, 2004
“A foreign correspondent’s facade of emotional invincibility is shattered by the death of a colleague in journalist Hamilton’s sharply etched, emotionally ferocious second novel… Hamilton’s novel is as edgily paced as a thriller… Hamilton no doubt enlists her own experience as a foreign correspondent to effectively flesh out the characters Caddie encounters, such as Jewish settlers Moshe and his blank wife, Sarah, and the Arab girl, Halima, who wants to bear witness. This is an affecting, viscerally charged work that offers no easy moral answers.”

Jerusalem Post – October 19, 2004
“[A] precisely rendered tale... Masha Hamilton's The Distance Between Us does not take sides. Her subject is grief and the desire for revenge, as experienced by a journalist whose colleague is killed… One of the strengths of this novel is that it does not judge. Caddie is portrayed as a suffering person responding authentically to loss. Along with Caddie, the reader slips into a charged space, where the air becomes too dense to breathe, or hisses and loses pressure like a deflating balloon. The near-universal desire for revenge becomes all too convincing.”
-- Sarah Halevi

Booklist – October 2004
“Hamilton not only captures the conflicted feelings of journalists but also the conflicted feelings of those living in the middle of the violence. All sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are presented fairly. Punchy dialogue and prose style turn this introspective look at violence and loss into a page-turner.”
-- Marta Segal

Midwest Book Review – August 2004
“Masha Hamilton's prose has been described as graceful, luminous, and elegant. I will add beguiling to that list… The Distance Between Us is believable, the characters multi-faceted, and the plot engaging from first page to last… I could endlessly quote passages of glorious prose from this book, but won't. I'll let readers discover Hamilton's gifted way with words for themselves. The author has given us the scents, sights, and sounds of Jerusalem, the sorrows shared by Israeli and Arab cousins. And she's put starkly realistic faces on human weaknesses and strengths… A winner.”
-- Laurel Johnson
 

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