Within Arm’s Reach charts the emotional life of three generations of an Irish Catholic family. Shaken reluctantly into self-examination by the unexpected pregnancy of its youngest member, the McLaughlin family is forced to confront ghosts of both past and present, and to re-appraise its values in a world of rapid change.
Narrated through six subjective first person accounts – the pregnant Gracie, her sister Lila, their parents, their matriarchal grandmother, and a family outsider with a curious connection – the novel dissects the markedly variant responses that such supposedly similar people can have to the same events.
An honest tale of interconnected lives, Within Arm’s Reach shows us that the ‘ties that bind’ are a source of both solace and of pain – at once a curse, a lifeline, an irritant and a cure – they are ultimately unavoidable and indelible.
Within Arm’s Reach was published in the United States by Crown Publishing, in the United Kingdom by Time Warner Books/Virago, in Spain by Ediciones Salamandra, and in Germany by Verlagsgruppe Droemer Weltbild.