The Distance Between Us by Masha Hamilton cover
  • The Distance Between Us dramatizes difficult issues about what draws reporters - and readers - to stories of violence. What does it cost to become the kind of person who "can step over bloody ground for a quote"?
  • I approached this novel, written by a veteran Middle East reporter and set in Israel during the intifada, with some trepidation, expecting yet another critique of Israel's moral stance. But Masha Hamilton's The Distance Between Us does not take sides. Her subject is grief and the desire for revenge, as experienced by a journalist whose colleague is killed.
  • In The Distance Between Us, Masha Hamilton's searing novel set amid the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Caddie is a journalist drawn to explosive violence like a moth to a flamethrower. She keeps getting singed from the heat, but it cauterizes her flayed emotions.
  • The Basics: As a foreign correspondent for an American newspaper covering the mayhem in Israel, Caddie Blair has to constantly justify her existence. Why is she putting herself in harm's way? Why does she chase after ambulances and bombs when most people head in the other direction for safety? After she's ambushed in Lebanon on her way to interview a terrorist, these questions become all the more urgent for those who know her. They want her to take some time to recover, because they can see she's on the edge of sanity.
  • Hamilton's graceful prose, her ability to evoke the setting and her realistic portrayal of a journalist make the book interesting reading.
  • Hamilton's novel is a compelling look at the emotional challenges and psychological extremes of covering a war with a shifting front line, as well as a convincing story of love and self-discovery. A former war correspondent in the Middle East and Moscow, Hamilton writes with the passion of someone who has witnessed firsthand the religious and cultural complexities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In an era when the richness of the Middle East is so often diluted by our American sensibilities, The Distance Between Us is not only compelling and fast-paced, but timely and enlightening as well.
  • Set in '60s Jordan, Hamilton has hit on two universal truths: That children never believe they will be as old as their elders, and that the way our relatives are in our youth is how we will always remember them. She captures the myths of a culture in dramatic style. Wonderful!
  • Masha Hamilton's prose has been described as graceful, luminous, and elegant. I will add beguiling to that list. It seems appropriate that she now teaches at the acclaimed Gotham Writers Workshop. Her past profession as journalist in trouble spots around the world lends credence to this second book. The Distance Between Us is believable, the characters multi-faceted, and the plot engaging from first page to last.
  • Timely, yet eye-opening book for readers far removed from [the Middle East], who only see it through news accounts or on TV ... She never takes the easy answer nor allows her characters to fall into stereotypes.
  • What a powerful, intense, beautifully written story. Masha Hamilton takes us right into the brutal heart of the war zone, right into the guarded heart of journalist Caddie Blair. With spare and stunning prose, Hamilton reminds us that The Distance Between Us often isn't as great as we may think.
    –Gayle Brandeis (author of Fruitflesh and The Book of Dead Birds)
  • Bravo to Masha Hamilton. Her superb new novel, The Distance Between Us, captures the life and drama of a female war correspondent –the danger, the romance, the detachment, the intensity of the friendships and the ever-present question of what is real life and what is escape. Writing with uncommon elegance and humorous insight, Hamilton draws deftly on her own experience as a foreign correspondent to make the world of first-class news reporters come alive.
    –Ann Blackman (journalist and author of Wild Rose, Civil War Spy, A True Story, Seasons of Her Life, A Biography of Madeleine Korbel Albright, and The Spy Next Door: The Extraordinary Secret Life of Robert Philip Hanssen. )
  • Readers will not feel the same about war after reading Masha Hamilton's eye-opening tale that vividly brings to life and death the horrors of constant terrorism with no end in sight. The fascinating storyline grips the reader from the moment that Caddie and crew meet death in Lebanon and never slows whether in Jerusalem, Gaza, or elsewhere. The cast seems genuine, as the audience will see behind the masquerade of brave boasting bravado to the fears of real people - Rating 10/10
    –Harriet Klausner review


  • Hamilton knows the geographic beauty and the unending blood feuds of the Middle East. She knows it as a journalist (for The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times), she knows it as a resident - the sights, sounds, smells of life and death seem to fill her every pore.
  • In her second novel (after Staircase of a Thousand Steps), Hamilton, once a foreign correspondent, has crafted a compelling tale of reprisal and endurance with a rich cast of characters. With prose both beguiling and elegant, the story will strike a chord in readers following current events in the Middle East.
  • Hamilton not only captures the conflicted feelings of journalists but also the conflicted feelings of those living in the middle of the violence. All sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are presented fairly. Punchy dialogue and prose style turn this introspective look at violence and loss into a page-turner.