Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is trying to escape: from her parents' ugly divorce and from the vicious cyber-bullying of her former best friend. Adrift, confused, she is a girl trying to find her way in a world that seems to either neglect or despise her. Her salvation arrives in an unlikely form: Bridget O'Connell, an Irish maid working for a wealthy Massachusetts family. The catch? Bridget lives only in the pages of a dusty old diary Natalie unearthed in her mother's basement. But the life she describes is as troubling-and mysterious-as the one Natalie is trying to navigate herself, almost a century later. Who was Bridget, and what became of her? Natalie escapes into the diary, eager to unlock its secrets, and reluctantly accepts the help of library archivist Kathleen Lynch, a widow with her own painful secret: she's estranged from her only daughter. Kathleen sees in Natalie traces of the daughter she has lost, and in Bridget, another spirited young woman at risk. What could an Irish immigrant, a domestic servant from the 1920s, teach them both? As the troubles of a very modern world close in around them, and Natalie's torments at school escalate, Bridget's faded journal unites the lonely girl and the unhappy widow-and might even change their lives forever.
So Far Away / Meg Mitchell Moore
“…Suzanne Toren narrates the chapters told from Kathleen's point of view, adding an ache to her voice and giving listeners a sense of how the woman's losses have colored her everyday existence. At the same time, Toren is careful to maintain Kathleen's pragmatic outlook and disdain for self-pity. Natalie's chapters are narrated by Emma Galvin, whose youthful voice reflects a range of teenage moods. Her reading is particularly sensitive as Natalie grows more despondent over her personal problems and feels there's nowhere to turn.” ~AudioFile (C.B.L.)