STARRED REVIEW
February 2021

Faye, Faraway

By Helen Fisher
Faye’s voice is charming, funny, sometimes philosophical and occasionally digressive. Faye, Faraway is a welcome escape.
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In Helen Fisher’s debut novel, Faye, Faraway, Faye mourns her late mother 30 years after her mother’s death, describing grief as a feeling that’s “like a missing tooth: an absence I can feel at all times, but one I can hide as long as I keep my mouth shut.”

Faye has a good life in London, where she’s a mother to two young daughters, Evie and Esther. She’s married to Eddie, an all-around good guy who’s studying for the ministry, though she can’t picture herself as a vicar’s wife. She loves her friends and her career testing product designs for blind people. Still, there’s a hole at the center of her life, left by the death of her mom when Faye was 8 years old.

When Faye finds an old photo in which her 6-year-old self is sitting in an empty toy box, she’s surprised to encounter the same box later in Eddie’s study. Eddie has brought the tattered box down from the attic to fill with textbooks, but Faye returns it to the attic, feeling possessive about the box and aggrieved by the loss of her mother. When she hits her head on a lightbulb and shatters it, she steps into the box to avoid the broken glass. Once in the box, she falls through time to her childhood home in the mid-1970s, where her mother is asleep, as is 6-year-old Faye.

The rest of this gentle time-slip story is composed of Faye’s interactions with her young mother, Jeanie, and her own younger self, and then her return to the present, where she ponders what to do about this new ability. Faye’s voice is charming, funny, sometimes philosophical and occasionally digressive. Her first-person perspective is in direct conversation with the reader, asking us if we’re still with her and assuring us that she understands if we’re not. Faye, Faraway is a welcome escape.

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Faye, Faraway

Faye, Faraway

By Helen Fisher
Gallery
ISBN 9781982142674

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