Mysterious Distance is a story of cycles: the cycle of romance, of death, of dreams … & of corn. Updating an old Aztec agricultural mythology to suit the meaning of our times—a time of mistrust and rebellion in the ways we consume, as well as the ways we relate to one another—Beres holds up a mirror and invites us to examine our own cycles. In the end, it is a tale we can all relate to: that of love and love lost, that of life and death, and that of the mysterious distance between the romance of who we are and the life we want to live, and the life that presents itself before us. It is a reminder that as far as we run from our patterns, we cannot run from ourselves, and, more importantly, that there is no reason to: the ritual of life is a rite of celebration, even when times seem darkest.
Mysterious Distance is Beres’s fifth book and first novel. Inspired by the mythological undertones of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, the author set out to capture the state of agriculture in America today, one dominated by factory farming, useless subsidies, and patented seeds with large lawsuits against independent farmers. Yet he never intended to write a book that merely repeated statistics. Instead, Beres chose to tell the human side of the story, and not revolve the entire tale around farm life. Indeed, most of the book takes place in and around Manhattan in 2006, and spends most of its time discussing the relationships between people.
First, there is the relationship between Adam and Jasmine, and how the at times stifling nature of full-time work can wear on a person. Then there’s the relationship between Adam and Inez, adding into the mix that age-old folly of desire, and what happens when one fulfills it. The relationship between Jasmine and Cliff touches upon the beauty of a father and his daughter, and then there’s Shadow, Adam’s best friend, who brings in the necessity and beauty of freindship. Finally, there is Gabriel and his relationship to all and none of these people, who is in his own world and, at times, nowhere near anything that we know of here.
There is no redemption without tragedy, and vice-versa—over time, all things become their opposite. This is the cycle of nature, the way of balance. And it is with this idea in mind that Beres presents this emotional, intelligent, joyous and tragic novel that will resonate with readers regardless of their backgrounds, for it touches upon what is most urgent and necessary inside of all of us, inside of who we are as human beings.