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Valentine’s Day in middle America. Judith Elliott fixes breakfast for her affluent suburban family. She kisses them all goodbye, tends to the house, makes plans for later with her husband. Then comes the news: her teenage son, Lucas, has taken a gun to school. He has killed two other students, a teacher, and himself.
Judith, an ordinary wife and mother, must suddenly grapple with extraordinary grief and horror. As reporters gather and lawsuits loom, society shuts out the surviving members of the Elliott family—including husband and father, Peter, and daughter and sister, Lindsey—who are as blindsided by the tragedy as anyone. Judith struggles to be the center of what remains of her family but finds herself plagued by doubts and unanswerable questions that may eventually disrupt her life more completely than the initial tragedy.
In this digital rerelease exclusive, Kali VanBaale’s award-winning first novel examines the aftermath of this modern nightmare with a clear-eyed dramatic precision that will leave readers wondering what does indeed lurk in the dark, unknowable spaces that exist between even the most loving of family members.
“The Space Between is a heart-rending, unflinching, lyrically powerful look into events both extraordinary and familiar, and an exploration of a family’s collective soul — how it trembles and aches and struggles to recover. By poignantly rendering the characters’ lives, what VanBaale reveals is as shocking as it is comforting: the space between us is an illusion, so we’re all in this together.”
—Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This, and Corpus Christi: Stories
“Kali VanBaale slices straight to the heart of a mother’s agony and guides us through her journey toward self-revelation; the triumph of this debut novelist lies in her compassion for those who suffer tragedy and learn from their mistakes. This is an important novel for parents and teenagers, for anyone who cares about what’s happening in our schools and homes. I read straight through the darkness into the morning hours that shimmered with new light.”
—Bev Marshall, author of Walking Through Shadows, Right As Rain, and Hot Fudge Sunday Blues
“… every parent of a teenager in America should read this book.”
— Jim Barnes, managing editor of Independent Publisher
About the Author
Kali VanBaale is also the author of the novel The Good Divide. She is the recipient of an American Book Award, Eric Hoffer Book Award, an Independent Publisher’s silver medal for fiction, and a State of Iowa major artist grant. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Numéro Cinq, Nowhere Magazine, The Milo Review, Northwind Literary, Poets & Writers, The Writer and several anthologies. Kali holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a faculty member of the Lindenwood University MFA Creative Writing Program. She lives outside Des Moines with her family.