BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"So Near" by Liza Gyllenhaal & a Giveaway

Today I'm featuring author Liza Gyllenhaal. She released her newest book, "So Near", published by NAL Trade, last month.

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

From the author of Local Knowledge comes a poignant novel about a young couple's road back from tragedy. 
In the aftermath of a devastating loss, Cal and Jenny Horigan's marriage is unraveling. Both are plagued by guilt, unable to seek comfort from one another. Burdened by remorse, they begin to lose sight of the love that once anchored them-together with their sense of right and wrong.

As the Horigans try different ways to deal with their pain, a new acquaintance seems to offer the support they desperately need-though at times they are unsure whether his guidance is leading them back to each other or further apart...
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Liza was raised in a small town in Pennsylvania which, at the time she was growing up, was fairly rural and very lovely—much like the area of the Berkshire Hills in Massachusetts where she now lives part of the time with her husband.

After college, some of which was spent at the University of Iowa Writing Workshop where she studied poetry, she moved to New York City and began a career in publishing and advertising. In the late 1980s, she founded an advertising agency that specialized in book publishing accounts and watched it grow over the next decade and a half to be the most successful of its kind. About the same time she started the agency, she and her husband began to spend weekends in the Berkshires, renting for many years and then buying a small cottage not far from the Columbia County border. Like so many weekenders, they found ourselves drawn more and more to the serenity and natural beauty of the area—the corn fields, dairy farms, and rolling hills. When she was able to sell the agency several years ago to devote herself to writing, she also decided to spend more time in that part of the world.

Though she continued to write poetry for several years after moving to the city, she found it difficult—especially after her business career began to take off—to give it the deep concentration that she believes poetry demands. More for fun than anything else, she tried writing a romance, then a few mysteries and suspense novels, and she was lucky enough to find an agent who saw some potential in them and helped her get published. Though she learned a lot about plot and pacing from writing those books, she longed to write something that was more emotionally resonant and character-driven.

It took her a while to find the right story to tell. She’d long been struck by the differences between the small, close-knit rural communities in the Berkshires and the upscale urban weekenders who over the last couple of decades have bought up and developed land that had been owned by local families for many generations. The idea for Local Knowledge came from thinking about those differences and the tensions that naturally arise from them.

So Near, which takes place in a fictional town close to the one in Local Knowledge, explores different, deeper, and more devastating tensions: those between a young married couple who are faced with a terrible loss—a loss that threatens to destroy their marriage and everything they once believed in. While it deals with some serious issues, she believes that, in the end, So Near is a story of hope and redemption and the transformative power of love.

In addition to writing, she works on behalf of various non-profits in New York City and the Berkshires. She is the past chairperson of The Academy of American Poets and currently serves on its executive committee.

You can find her at her website. She's also willing to talk with your book group, over the phone, or in person if she's in the area. 

Thanks to NAL, I have 2 print copies of "So Near" to give away to a US or Canadian resident. Use the rafflecopter widget below to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway.


  1. Instead a child, I lost my brother so even though a parent's grief is different, I know what it is like to lose a family member when he was still young. I would love to read this book to find out how they dealt with their loss.


  2. Hi Carol, I lost both my oldest brother and my moth in my senior year of high school, though six months apart. My father took my brother's death very hard, parents shouldn't outlive their children. I suspect if/when I read this book, I will do a lot of crying. No matter what age, it's hard dealing with the death of a close family member.

  3. Sounds like a heart breaking storyline and I would love to read it.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  4. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. I am in the US. Please enter me in contest.

  5. great giveaway!

  6. I'd love to read this. Please count me in :)


  7. I have never read anything by this author before, but this book sounds amazing. I would love to read this and hopefully it will point me in the direction of more great books that I hadn't heard of before. Thank you for the opportunity to win this.


  8. This sounds like an amazing book. I would love to read this. I couldn't imagine losing a child :(

  9. Sounds like quite a powerfully emotional book! Thanks for the giveaway!



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