On March 27th, 1884, the first long-distance phone call was made between the cites of Boston and New York. Seen as revolutionary for the time, our ability to communicate over long distances have expanded greatly since 1884. We have many choices in how we communication: long distance telephone , email, text, Face time, Skype and more. The ability to communicate in so many fashions has made our world smaller.
Below are a selection of novels which document the hardship of maintaining contact with loved ones in our lives.
The Book of Strange New Things
By Michel Faber
Called to perform missionary work on a world light years away where the natives are fascinated by the concepts he introduces, man of faith Peter Leigh finds his beliefs tested when he learns of natural disasters that are tearing Earth apart.
Sword and blossom : a British officer’s enduring love for a Japanese woman
By Peter Pagnamenta
Draws on more than eight hundred letters to recount the tragic romantic relationship between an ambitious British army officer and a Japanese woman, who fell in love on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War and defied conventions to remain in touch.
By Mary Ann Shafer
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
The Geography of You and Me
By Jennifer E. Smith
Sparks fly when sixteen-year-old Lucy Patterson and seventeen-year-old Owen Buckley meet on an elevator rendered useless by a New York City blackout. Soon after, the two teenagers leave the city, but as they travel farther away from each other geographically, they stay connected emotionally, in this story set over the course of one year.
By Helene Hanff
Correspondence between Helene Hanff and agents of Marks & Co., chiefly Frank Doel.
By Rainbow Rowell
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.Maybe that was always besides the point.Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts.Is that what she’s supposed to do?Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
By Nicholas Sparks
If you’ve yet to read a Nicholas Sparks’ novel, and would like to try one, this is required reading (a big box of tissues is optional). It’s got lost lovers, forbidden romance, and of course, a stack of love letters that Noah Calhoun writes to Allie Nelson while they are separated by circumstance and societal pressures.