Naomi Shihab Nye s There Is No Long Distance Now is a collection of forty short stories that explore the interconnectedness of humanity.ﾠ In brief tales about various facets of life, she conveys that every person on the planet shares a commonality - whether it be language, religion, family, hardship, or hunger.ﾠ In fact, everyone worries and changes over time.ﾠﾠ
One episode that stands out in my mind is Mary Alvarez Is Ninety Today.ﾠ The author starts with a quick sketch of a person - we don t know if it is girl or boy - who has gone to the store to buy lactose-free milk at 6:48 am in the morning.ﾠ S/he is angry that his/her family drank all the lactose-free milk.ﾠ S/he snaps at an older man in line who is carrying a heart balloon.ﾠ Instead of snapping back, he kindly tells her it s for his mother for her ninetieth birthday.ﾠ The milk-getter is immediately remorseful.ﾠ The story then cuts off, leaving the protagonist with a feeling of compassion toward the aged Mary Alvarez as well as the older man.ﾠ Another episode highlights a twelve-year-old girl s concern for her party-minded older brother.ﾠ Additional stories explore death, divorce, religion, and prison.
I really enjoyed There Is No Long Distance Now.ﾠ It is a perfect book to pick up, read a bit and then put back down. Furthermore, the author has a way of writing that pulls the reader into the world of the characters.ﾠ Nye does use multiple pop culture references such as Miley Cyrus, O Magazine, Family Dollar, and AT&T, which could date the book in a few years.ﾠ However, this future problem is minimal when compared with the fact that the book is simply engaging.ﾠ In all, There Is No Long Distance Now is a must-read.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Chicago, Illinois USA