A Distant Voice by Bridie Blake

SKU 978-1-77233-550-7

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In life you don’t find your voice. It finds you. 

Violet Hayes knows how to survive the year living with her grandmother in the small town of Wandorah, Tennessee. 

• Make Rose happy 
• Don’t sing or play guitar 
• Avoid Sally Shaw 
• Ignore Carter Jenkins 

It seems simple enough, right? Wrong. 

• How do you keep a depressed sister happy? 
• How do you deny yourself your dream? 
• How do you avoid a friendship? 
• And how do you ignore a boy when he’s everywhere you turn? 

Violet’s to-do list just became a whole lot harder. 

14+ due to adult situations


He smiled and reached out to pull the guitar toward him. He strummed his fingers over the strings and played a few chords before glancing over at me proudly.


He offered me the guitar. “Your turn.”

“And what makes you think I can play?”

“Your bloodlines.”

I snorted out a laugh and clapped my hand over my mouth in horror.

“Play away,” he said, ignoring my snort, and pushed the guitar into my hands.

I stared down at it with my mouth hanging open. The way my heart raced you’d think he’d pulled the pin on a grenade and handed it to me. Relax Violet. It’s an instrument. It can’t hurt you. Unless I tripped over it and broke my neck. And that could happen. Probably not entirely realistic while I’m holding it, but if I dropped it and then got up and tripped, it … oh dear god, what is wrong with me?

His mom called out his name and he gave me an apologetic shrug. “I’ll be right back.”

He left the room and I remained where I was, the guitar still burning my hands. It had been months since I’d played. Months since I’d felt that wave of joy I got whenever my fingers ran over the strings.

A yearning, so strong it sent butterflies fluttering in my stomach, washed over me and my fingers moved. They ran over the strings, playing whatever came to mind. I closed my eyes and let myself be swallowed up by it all. I allowed myself to forget and be something else. Someone else.

I didn’t know how long I stayed like that but a shuffle behind me forced me back to reality. I opened my eyes and twisted around. Carter stood in the doorway, a look of wonder on his face and it made me squirm. I dropped my hands, rested the guitar on his bed, and scrambled to my feet. “I should go.”

He moved toward me slowly, as though scared a sudden movement would startle me. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I mumbled and folded my arms across my chest, tucking my hands into my armpits where they’d be safe and wouldn’t stray towards anymore strings.

His brow creased and I saw him trying to work out what had happened but I didn’t want to talk about it. I tried to duck out of his room before he asked me anything. He gripped my arm, stopping my quick exit. “It’s okay,” he said. “You’re allowed to enjoy things. You’re not betraying your sister by having fun or doing the things you want to do.” His voice, filled with sincerity and kindness, caused a lump to take up residence in my throat.

His hand ran along my arm and towards my hidden hand. He tugged on it until he freed it and he squeezed my fingers gently. I shook my head because he’s right, but he’s wrong at the same time. It was guilt over Rose that stopped me doing things but when it came to music, there was so much more to it.

Music destroyed Gran’s life. It ruined Mom’s childhood. I couldn’t love something like that because if I did, I’d open myself up to the same hurt. And I’m not anywhere near as strong as Gran. It would destroy me. It would be my trigger.

I wanted to tell him that. I wanted him to understand. But the words wouldn’t come out of me.



Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 10 ratings)
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Wonderful, heart wrenching story about family
Written by Laura on 21st Jan 2018

Wonderful, heart wrenching story about family, relationships and mental illness. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Highly recommend if you enjoy YA!

A Distant Voice is a beautifully written YA story about friendships
Written by WanderRoxyReads on 21st Jan 2018

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A Distant Voice is a beautifully written YA story about friendships, mental illness, family, and grief. Throughout this book I felt I was with Violet in a dark, cold cave on a roller coaster ride. I just wanted to wrap my arms around Violet and assure her this ride would end with brightness at the end. Thank you Birdie Blake for your writing style with this novel.

The characters in this book seem like very real teenagers
Written by kayla on 21st Jan 2018

The characters in this book seem like very real teenagers. They all have different problems to deal with. The main character, Violet, has to deal with moving to a new town after her father left, her mother began abusing alcohol, and her older sister attempted suicide while in the midst of a devastating depression. I like that this book referenced a lot of different music. It would make a good soundtrack! I think this book will really speak to teens.

Wonderful story!
Written by KTGlow on 12th Jan 2018

Wow! This book was fantastic! The characters were well developed and the story did a great job representing and dealing with depression. There are very few authors that can so eloquently write about tough subjects like depression and suicide. Holy crap that plot twist came outta no where!! You'll have to read it to find out the truth and how well Violet handles living in Tennessee. I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book.

Touches the Heart
Written by Donna on 12th Jan 2018

I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. There are some books that touch your heart so deeply, and A Distant Voice is one of those books. Bridie Blake did an amazing job making the reader feel the emotions, there was some difficult subjects and she handled them so well. It's a wonderful story about family, friendships and mental illness. This story has so much depth and truly speaks to the heart. I loved this book so much I am going to purchase it in book form for my bookshelves. I highly recommend this to all. I will be watching out for what Bridie Blake writes for us next!

What a read! Could not put it down. ...
Written by Amy on 12th Jan 2018

What a read! Could not put it down. Another fabulous book by this upcoming author. Looking forward to more books in the future.

A Wonderful YA Read
Written by Susandyer1962 on 30th Jan 2017

A Distant Voice Birdie Blake I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A DISTANT VOICE broke my heart. I just wanted to reach into this wonderful story and give Violet a great big hug. She is just a kid and her life and world have been turned upside down and left her devastated and lonely. After a tragedy in her family occurs she leaves Chicago and moves in with her grandmother in Tennessee. Violet is struggling with keeping it together. Her dad left and ever since her mother is not getting out of bed and has shut down. Violet's grandmother was a famous singer but she was a drunk and doing drugs and after one bad performance she walked away from it all. Violet loves to sing but is afraid to end up like her grandmother so she leaves it all behind even if it makes her the happiest. She feels as if she is happy her family will think she is being selfish and that just breaks your heart while reading A DISTANT VOICE. Violet doesn't believe that she deserves to be happy ever again, not like she was with her sister Rose. Rose was her whole life, all she wanted to do was make her happy. Birdie Blake made me feel the exact way Violet was feeling, my emotions were all over the place while reading A DISTANT VOICE. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Would Violet ever find her happy place? Would she ever feel she deserved to be happy? Would she ever stop putting up walls and pushing away everyone who truly cares about her? A DISTANT VOICE is beautifully written and once I started reading I was emotionally invested in this family and Violet. Carter had my heart from the very first meeting and he had me in tears with all that he had been through. Kids shouldn't have to deal with these things. They should just be allowed to be kids, but some of the things they have to deal with, is so unfair. I found myself cheering for Carter and Violet and hoping they would find their happiness and be able to follow their dreams.

Gripping story!
Written by Anniek Snowroses on 30th Jan 2017

Violet Hayes struggles through life. Her father walked out on her leaving her to deal with her mom and her sister Rose all alone. Ever since her father left her mom is not leaving her bed, let alone the house and Rose mostly doesn't even leave her room. They pack up their stuff to live with her grandmother Iris in a small town called Wandorah. Iris O'Connor once was a very famous singer but her career went out like a flame after a performance that went bad. Violet has a lot to deal with. Her mother is depressed and her sister Rose wants her all for herself. This results in Violet pulling back from the rest of the world. She doesn't think she needs or deserves friends. Happiness isn't in her cards either so she pretty much keeps to herself. Unlucky for her, Wandorah has some great residents who are not willing to let Violet fade into the background. Sometimes you read a book that you feel all the way to the middle of your heart. A Distant Voice is one of those books. Violet is beating herself up for the tragedies that happened which she could do nothing about. She feels selfish and puts herself aside for her family members who need her. I felt for her! Such a young girl who has to endure so much. I was rooting for her to find her own voice again and to understand that she can be who she wants to be without feeling guilty. Some of the events in this story were really difficult for me to read about because they hit very close to home. I never saw the ending coming. It surprised me and brought me to tears. I finished this book literally with tears in my eyes. Bridie Blake did an amazing job with making the reader feel the emotions and she doesn't shy away from difficult subjects. This is an author I will keep following and I am really looking forward to be drawn into her world again.

a great read for any young adult
Written by Patricia statham on 30th Jan 2017

This story revolves around Violet Hayes. Her life has been turned upside down . Her dad left them and now her mother won't get out of bed and her older sister is in a deep depression. They move to a small town in Tennessee to live with their grandmother. Violet fights tooth and nail when she enrolls in school. She doesn't think she needs friends an when a boy walks into the picture she fights him and doesn't want a relationship. But she can't live with just Rose as her friend . Her whole life gets thrown for a loop. This story is a great coming of age story. What would you do if all you had was a mother and sister battling the dreaded disease of Depression. You would do anything to help them out, even give up on your dreams . That is what Violet does, she thinks that she is enough for both Rose and her mother. Violet is a fighter but also flawed, you see her fight to keep her family together and you see her fighting the new friendships that are forming in her new school. She does a lot of growing up as you read along . She goes through so much and grows up. Carter is a great character , he helps Violet realize that she needs to have a life outside her family. They fight like cats and dogs and become friends. Then we see them blossoming into so much more. Carter helps Violet follow her dreams and finally find her voice, I really liked all the characters that Violet encounters , they all seem to push her and help her realize that there is more to life then her sister and mother . This book is a good book for teens and young adults . They do touch on some very dark issues like depression and what it does to a family. The author handles this situation with great ease and honesty. She doesn't pull any punches when it comes to what happens when a person suffering through the disease . It all shows us a young woman growing up and finding her way in the world . Not knowing what to do when she is faced some tough decisions. You will shed some tears and smile and shed some more tears. But over all you will enjoy this read . So if you want a good read check it out

Great read!
Written by Mary on 30th Jan 2017

A Distant Voice follows Violet Hayes, a girl who is trying to find her place in the world. Violet's dad has walked out on them leaving her to look after her mom, who won't get out of bed, and her sister Rose who won't leave the house. They pack up their car and move to a small town in Tennessee to live with her estranged grandmother. Here Violet tries to fight new friendships because she doesn't think she needs anyone in her life except Rose but she finds herself liking the people she meets. Especially Carter Jenkins. It's not an instant love romance, or an instant like one at that. The two don't get along right away but slowly begin building a friendship that blossoms into something more. I really like Carter and the way he is with Violet. He is patient but he also calls her out when she needs it. They're a good balance for one another. Violet is a flawed character and some of her choices and reasoning can be frustrating, but you can't help but sympathise with her and root for her. I really liked the book and the characters. I wanted it to keep going! Oh, and have tissues on hand when you read it.