April, 1946. Michael, a soldier, returns to Southampton on a troop ship. Brutalised and in shock, he cannot face the life that awaits him at home. Impulsively he boards a train to the western tip of Cornwall, where his life is shaped by his heart and the fragmented Britain he has come back to.
More than half a century later, Kit, an enigmatic stranger, arrives in Norfolk to take up his unwanted inheritance- a decommissioned lighthouse, half hidden in the shadows of the past, now sweeping its beam forward through time. According to Kit, his life is complete, and he doesn't wish to see anything the lighthouse's glare exposes. But the choice is out of his hands.
Luisa, a second-generation Italian, has so far lived through her children and has reached a point of invisibility. The constant push and pull of family life has turned like the tide, and she is suspended, without direction. Kit and Luisa meet and neither can escape the inevitability of Michael's split-second decision at the Southampton docks.
Moving between the post-war artists' colony around St Ives in Cornwall and present-day Norfolk, Raffaella Barker's new novel explores the secrets and flaws that shape our interactions across generations. From a Distance is a tender and compelling story of human connection and the yearning desire we have to belong.
Raffaella Barker, daughter of the poet George Barker, was born and brought up in the Norfolk countryside. She is the author of seven acclaimed novels: Come and Tell Me Some Lies, The Hook, Hens Dancing, Summertime, Green Grass, A Perfect Life and Poppyland. She has also written a novel for young adults, Phosphorescence. She is a regular contributor to the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph, and teaches on the Literature and Creative Writing BA at the University of East Anglia and the Guardian UEA Novel Writing Masterclass. Raffaella Barker lives by the sea in north Norfolk.
From A Distance
Author: Raffaella Barker