Lucy Caldwell’s novella, The Furthest Distance, was published on 27th November 2009 by Netherlea Press, the first in a series of novellas written about journeys within Ireland.
Summer 1978, and five-year-old Brooklyn is on her first trip to Northern Ireland. Her daddy’s happy to be going home. Her mommy’s not: she’s dreading going back to the place she’s tried her whole life to leave behind. The one thing they agree on is that the train journey from Belfast to Derry is the most beautiful you’ll ever make.
Just past Castlerock the train thunders between cliff and rocky shore and waves break right up against the tracks. The long journey is almost worth it for those moments alone, they tell her. But for Brooklyn, destined to spend intermittent summers travelling the same route with her mother’s frustrated feminism and her father’s unfulfilled dreams for stardom, the point of a journey is simply its destination. Until the day when a brief encounter sends her own life in a new direction…
The Furthest Distance is a sad, funny, moving meditation on the journeys we make and on how, finally, the furthest distances we travel are those between people.