Nearer Than the Sky
By Tammy Greenwood
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312265038, 288pp.
Publication Date: January 2000
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In those days, there were no words to describe the nature of my mother's tales. No diagnosis for her tendency toward fiction. No names for women who make accidents happen to their children. No terms for imaginary heroes. And so we listened to my mother's stories in silence and tried to believe.
Indie Brown is a woman haunted by a childhood she'd rather forget in T. Greenwood's luminous and terrifying second novel.
As an adult, Indie has moved far away from her parents, and created a new life with her long time companion, Peter, a sensitive and steadfast partner. Together they have forged a simple and happy life in the back woods of Maine. But one autumn evening, a late night phone call from her younger sister sends Indie reeling back into the chaos of her troubled family, and she reluctantly returns home.
It is there, back in the mountains of Arizona, that events from her past are suddenly and painfully illuminated. From her mother's disturbing relationship with her younger sister to the death of her brother, Indie is assaulted by the nightmares of her childhood. And after a sudden and unpredictable turn of events, she is ultimately forced to reevaluate her relationships with her mother, her sister, and with Peter.
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, the elusive and horrific mental disorder which causes afflicted mothers to make their own children ill, comes to life in this tragic yet beautiful story. With the same lyrical prose displayed in her award-winning debut novel, Breathing Water, Greenwood once again takes on brutal subject matter with sensitivity and grace.