Filled with vivid, unique descriptions: My review of Far From Here by Nicole Baart

Far from Here

About the Book...

How long do you hold on to hope?

Danica Greene has always hated flying, so it was almost laughable that the boy of her dreams was a pilot. She married him anyway and together, she and Etsell settled into a life where love really did seem to conquer all. Danica is firmly rooted on the ground in Blackhawk, the small town in northern Iowa where they grew up, and the wide slashes of sky that stretch endlessly across the prairie seem more than enough for Etsell. But when the opportunity to spend three weeks in Alaska helping a pilot friend presents itself, Etsell accepts and their idyllic world is turned upside down. It’s his dream, he reveals, and Danica knows that she can’t stand in the way. Ell is on his last flight before heading home when his plane mysteriously vanishes shortly after takeoff, leaving Danica in a free fall. Etsell is gone, but what exactly does gone mean? Is she a widow? An abandoned wife? Or will Etsell find his way home to her? Danica is forced to search for the truth in her marriage and treks to Alaska to grapple with the unanswerable questions about her husband’s mysterious disappearance. But when she learns that Ell wasn’t flying alone and that a woman is missing, too, the bits and pieces of the careful life that she had constructed for them in Iowa take to the wind. A story of love and loss, and ultimately starting over, Far From Here explores the dynamics of intimacy and the potentially devastating consequences of the little white lies we tell the ones we love.


Far From Home is a poignant story written with grace and beauty. Nicole Baart has a wonderful grasp of the English language, and her descriptions are vivid and unique. Baart used an interesting writing technique in this novel that I haven’t seen before, where she alternated between first-person and third-person for the same character. Although in theory this may sound confusing it actually isn’t, and I found that doing so served the plot very well in that it kept the story moving along by alternating these points of view. As the book deals with deep themes like grief and loss, it had the potential to become slow moving, but I felt the plot unfolded at a nice pace. The characters are well-developed, and I enjoyed the interactions between Dani and her sisters and mother, which resulted in moments that were at times heart-breaking and others times humorous. The author leaves much to the imagination in how the story ends, and yet either way it is a satisfying conclusion no matter what you decide the ending implies (you will see what I mean after you read the book!).

My one disappointment is that the book seemed light on the spiritual themes. While I’m sure the author was trying to appeal to a broader audience, how beautiful it would have been to have seen the character interact with Jesus, who, when we are in the pit of despair, climbs down there with us, holds us close, and wipes every tear away. I never got the impression that Dani really had an encounter with the living God, though it’s clear she was moving on her own journey towards the Truth. I should also caution that there are some swear words used in the story, and I can see from other reviews that this has offended numerous readers. While I don’t like swearing, the reality is that people do swear – Christians and non-Christians – and so I wasn’t bothered by their inclusion in the story. If this is something that does offend you, however, then I would steer clear of this book and pick up some of Nicole Baart’s other books, which are also very good indeed.

If you are looking to pick up a well-written contemporary novel that will leave you moved, then this is the book for you. Overall, I give this book a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Howard Books, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

Nicole BaartNicole Baart lives in a small town in Iowa and is the mother of three young sons. After the adoption of her second son from Ethiopia, Nicole discovered a deep passion for global issues and co-founded a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, that works alongside a church and orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia. She is an accomplished novelist and a 2009 Christy Award finalist for fiction.