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The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree

16 August 2018

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“A simply told, bitter-sweet story, with a powerful poetic message” Jacqueline Wilson

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is a novel about Mafalda, a nine-year-old girl who knows that within the next six months, she’ll lose her sight. She wonders what she’ll be able to do in the future and, with the help of her family and friends, she discovers the things that will be important to her when her sight fails.

The novel was written by Paola Peretti, an Italian author who discovered fifteen years ago that she had a rare genetic illness called Stargardt disease, which causes progressive vision loss, and eventually blindness. It has no cure. The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is her first novel, in which she uses her own experience as inspiration for the story.

“This beautiful book is a must-read for any family that has recently received a diagnosis of sight loss. It’s a modern-day fable that will help adults and children, friends and family understand and come to terms with life-changing health issues.” Red Szell, RNIB Connect Radio

You can watch a short video of Paola talking about her life experiences that inspired her debut novel.

There is an opportunity for Reading Hack groups to Read and Review The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree this autumn (with audio book versions being offered for young people with visual impairments). You can find out more and pitch to take part here.

“I’m going blind. That’s the cold, hard truth. With my brown, rather ordinary eyes I see only a fifth of what other people can see. Literature is my biggest passion. I want to write. I can’t wait any longer. I have eyes inside my hands, and when I’m writing I see even better inside my head.”
Paola Peretti