How Far Is the Ocean From Here

How Far Is the Ocean From Here

A Novel

eBook - 2008
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A story that transports readers to the "godforsaken fleabag" Thunder Lodge motel in the middle of a stretch of desert "somewhere between West Texas and East New Mexico", the last place you'd think the nine-month-pregnant protagonist, Susannah Prue, would want to be in high summer. In the time-honored tradition followed by those who've made a hash of their lives, Susannah is fleeing west. She is serving as the surrogate mother for a wealthy couple, and with the due date two weeks away, she impulsively drives out of Chicago and fetches up at the Thunder Lodge. Susannah is forced to settle in there after Marlon Garland, who owns the Lodge with his surly wife Char, pronounces the engine of her car dead. While Susannah incubates the baby with no particular plan in mind, she comes to enjoy the company of Tim, the Garlands' handsome, mentally disabled teenage son, and the only other two guests who check in during her stay: Frankie, a child of ambiguous gender raised against her will as a girl, and Frankie's aunt Dicey, who is transporting her across country to live with her father. Meanwhile, the sophisticated middle-aged power couple, Julian and Kit Forsythe, whose baby is in Susannah's womb, set out in pursuit. From this array of characters, which at first seems as arbitrary as any random group of guests at a motel, Shearn sets in motion a gripping plot and creates a desert society that functions like many desert societies must, with people becoming involved in each other's lives simply because there are so few people to go around. Three characters who form a team by the end of the novel all have in common the threshold status of their lives--Susannah stuck somewhere between youth and almost-motherhood, Frankie between male and female, and Tim between child and man, all of them marooned in an especially barren stretch of desert
Publisher: New York : Shaye Areheart Books, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307449528
Characteristics: 307 p. ;,24 cm


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