October 20, 2019

#BookReview: The Distance Between: A Memoir by Timothy J Hillegonds


Synopsis: At eighteen years old, with no high school diploma, a growing rap sheet, and a failed relationship with his estranged father, Timothy J. Hillegonds took a one-way flight from Chicago to Colorado in hopes of leaving his mounting rage and frustration behind. His plan was simple: snowboard, hang out, live an uncomplicated life.

The Distance Between chronicles how Hillegonds’s plan went awry after he immediately jumped head first into a turbulent relationship with April, a Denny’s coworker and single mother. At once passionate and volatile, their relationship was fueled by vodka, crystal methamphetamine, and poverty—and it sometimes became violent. Mere months after moving to the mountains, when the stakes felt like they couldn’t be higher, Hillegonds learned April was pregnant with his child.

More than just a harrowing story of addiction and abuse or a simple mea culpa, The Distance Between is a finely wrought exploration of, and reckoning with, absent fathers, fatherhood, violence, adolescent rage, white male privilege, and Hillegonds’s own toxic masculinity. With nuance and urgency, The Distance Between takes readers through the grit of life on the margins while grappling with the problematic nature of one man’s existence.


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About the Author: Timothy J. Hillegonds has published work in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the RumpusBrevity, and other publications. He lives in Chicago with his wife and serves as contributing editor for Slag Glass City, a digital journal of the urban essay arts.
 
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: Coming of age for one boy searching looking for who he is.  Weeding through his childhood of violence and addiction this story will rip out your heart.  If this author ever decides to do normal stories vs. memoirs they will most likely be best sellers in no time.  This author has a way to bring you into the story and then devastating you.  This book was insightful and very gripping and I could not put it down.  This is one title that you will be thinking about it long after you finish. 




"The title of this book–The Distance Between–captures, not only the miles travelled and the motion created in the story it tells, but as the ending of the book asks us to look forward, the title also conveys something about that space between who we used to be and the people we can become."—Penny Guisinger, Brevity
(Penny Guisinger Brevity 2019-10-02)

“What a gorgeous book. Hillegonds’s candor and insight are a marvel, his storytelling gripping, harrowing, and beautiful.”—Michele Morano, author of Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain

(Michele Morano 2019-02-23)

“With earnest, unflinching prose and piercing detail, Hillegonds chronicles a turbulent past defined by a toxic mixture of rage, recklessness, and addiction. His willingness to peel back the layers of vulnerability and shame to reveal the man he once was is a stirring testament to the man he is now.”—Melanie Brooks, author of Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma 
(Melanie Brooks 2019-02-23)

The Distance Between is a bracingly honest account of a boy’s search for manhood through the wilds of addiction, violence, and early fatherhood. This story gutted me. Hillegonds’s debut announces that he’s a writer to watch.”—Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss
(Hope Edelman 2019-02-23)









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