‘A Voice in the Distance’ by Tabitha Suzuma

So only a day after finishing and reviewing Tabitha Suzuma’s ‘A Note of Madness’, I am back to review its sequel, ‘A Voice in the Distance’. ‘A Voice in the Distance’ is much more focussed on Flynn’s relationship with his girlfriend Jennah (in fact, the novel is written in first person, alternating between Flynn and Jennah, as opposed to third person like ‘A Note of Madness’), as he comes to the end of his study at the RCM and embarks on his career in performance, although obviously his bipolar is still the issue at the heart of the novel.

It has to be said, although in terms of the depiction of bipolar disorder, this novel is much darker and more hard-going than its predecessor, I actually preferred it – I felt the characters were much more developed this time around, and while it was still quite predictable, the dramatic events of the novel had more emotional impact due to being written in first person. The one gripe I have, though, is that Suzuma often spells words wrong: “St Pancreas” station instead of “St Pancras” (I know it’s a well-known joke to call it that, but the circumstances in which it was said implied she wasn’t meaning it as a joke). The briefly-mentioned Professor Myers from the first book has even changed into Professor “Meyers”!

I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, so I shall try not to say too much, but the end of the novel is absolutely heart-breaking – I read the last few pages with a heavy heart and a lump in my throat. It’s clear to see that this installment in Suzuma’s ‘Definitions’ series definitely had more of an emotional impact on me than the previous one.

My overall rating? 7/10.



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