Book Spotlight: So Near the Horizon by Jessica Koch

Special post today! I wasn't able to fit this book into my review schedule, but I wanted to be sure to promote it to my blog followers. It's always exciting to see books written in another language being translated into English, and with this book, it's also getting its debut into the US market. Please join me in celebrating its US release today - So Near the Horizon!

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More than 250,000 readers made this the No. 1 best selling ebook in Germany 2016. Now finally available in English, too! A story of deep love. A story of trust, courage, pain, despair, and the strength to let go. A true story. Jessica has an uncomplicated life and a promising future. Leaving the house one evening, she has no idea that she’s about to meet the love of her life - and that her entire understanding of the world is about to change. Before long, she’s going to face a decision that will shape her forever ... In So Near the Horizon, Jessica Koch describes a life lived somewhere between hope and fear, confronting true events from her own past with raw honesty and frank reflection - and exploring more than one difficult subject along the way.

About the Author

Jessica Koch was born in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in 1982 and began writing short stories when she was still in high school - but never submitted her work to publishers. In late 1999, shortly after finishing school, she met Danny, a German-American dual citizen. Her experiences with him eventually formed the basis for So Near the Horizon, though it was nearly thirteen years before she felt ready to bring the manuscript to the public. The author describes a life lived somewhere between hope and fear, between optimism and despair. She reflects on events from her own past with raw honesty, confronting more than one difficult subject along the way. Jessica Koch’s dramatic debut novel, Dem Horizont so nah (So Near the Horizon), broke every record when it hit stores in Germany. Released in 2016 through a small, independent publishing house, the e-book was an instant success, selling over 250,000 copies in just a few months and topping the Amazon bestseller list for more than six weeks - which made it the number-one bestselling German-language ebook of 2016! Since then, one of Germany’s largest publishing houses has purchased the rights to this riveting and highly emotional memoir. The foreign rights have been picked up in numerous countries, and the feature film is scheduled to arrive in theaters at the end of 2018. Jessica Koch lives near the city of Stuttgart with her husband, their son, and two dogs. The second and third books in the trilogy, So Near the Abyss and So Near the Ocean, are already best-sellers in Germany as well.


“Danny… Why do you belong there too?” I tried to meet his eyes, but he shut them, avoiding my gaze. His fingernails dug into the skin on his bare arms, and he pursed his lips grimly. Slowly, I scooted toward him. “Talk to me, Danny, please,” I said, trying to pry one of his arms loose. But the more I tugged, the more rigidly he kept them crossed against his body as he shrank away from me as far as he could inside the cramped car. For a moment, I was afraid he would simply get out and walk away.

Too close, a voice whispered inside me. You’re much too close to him! I let go of his arm so I could slide back into my seat, and he relaxed almost instantly. He took several deep, slow breaths before opening his eyes and blinking at me through his long lashes. “You know why,” he whispered. “And someday I’ll tell you myself. I promise. Be patient with me.” I swallowed. “Okay.” He took my hand again and drew it in to give me a kiss on the finger. “Thank you.” “So, Tina will be working through her own trauma there, too?” “Yeah.” Now I was the one bracing myself for a difficult conversation. This was a good opportunity to bring up something that had been bothering me for a long time. “She told me…she gets in bed with you when she can’t sleep.” “That’s true.” He shifted uncertainly. “She does.” “Which means she’ll probably do that at the rehab clinic, too, right? Where she’ll be facing all of that again? She’ll sneak into your room at night to sleep with you?” Danny began chewing on his thumbnail. “Maybe, yeah. Is that a problem?” “It is for me.” I twirled a lock of hair around my finger awkwardly. Just tell him already! “I don’t like it because I want you all to myself.” There. Now it was out, and there was no taking it back. Danny’s expression remained earnest. “She just wants to feel protected, to be close to someone else. It’s not about intimacy, it’s about safety.” “Don’t you think it’s weird that a girl traumatized by rape would climb into bed with some other guy to feel safe?” Danny snorted and looked at the ceiling. “Not at all. I mean, it’s not just some guy she’s crawling into bed with. It’s me.” He shook his head, looking thoughtful. “Seriously, Ducky, you must have noticed by now. I’m not like that. All the flirting, the phone number hunting, that’s just for show. It’s a facade. It’s not me.” Still gazing at me, he added dryly, “You could tie Christina to my stomach naked and nothing would happen between us.” I didn’t have the slightest doubt that he was telling the truth. “Yeah,” I said. “I know that.” He turned his body toward me and laid his hand on my cheek. Even in the darkness of the car, I could see the gleaming blue of his eyes. “I love you, Jessica,” he whispered. “I’ve never loved anyone else the way I love you.” All I could do was stare at him. Danny laughed softly and held out a key ring with a single key. “In case you get bored or you feel like practicing your driving, you can come by and water the plants or feed the cat.” They didn’t have a cat to feed, and I’d never seen a plant there, either, but I understood the gesture: his home was open to me at any time now. I could come and go as I liked.