A Quick Peak Into A Few Chapters of So Near the Horizon!

Seventeen-year-old 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 - or that her entire understanding of the world is about to change. And 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.
A story of deep love. A story of trust, courage, pain, despair, and the strength to let go. A true story.
  • Somewhere in the beginning of the book...

    (...) “Why?” I tried to meet his eyes, but he shut them, avoiding my gaze. His fingernails dug into the skin on his bare arms. He pursed his lips grimly and said nothing.
    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.” (...)

  • Prologue – Summer 1996

    Danny jolted awake at the sound of the telephone. Instinctively, he glanced first toward the closed bedroom door, and then to the open window. It was still dark out, though the sky was already hinting at dawn.
    The radio alarm clock showed that it was just after five. No big deal for an early riser like him. But it was Sunday. Who the hell was calling him so early?
    The ringing continued, but he decided to just ignore it.
    Tina, he realized suddenly. She was probably in some kind of trouble again, maybe having an emotional breakdown or looking for a place to crash. She usually called his cell phone, though.
    Whoever it was, the caller was apparently hell-bent on getting him out of bed. He rose reluctantly and padded into the hall in his T-shirt and boxers, to the phone hanging on the wall.
    “What happened?” he asked sleepily into the receiver.
    “It’s me. Your father.”

  • Danny recognized the voice after the first syllable, and he was immediately wide awake. The hair on the back of his neck stood up. Every nerve ending in his body vibrated. “What do you want?”
    “I’m your dad. Can’t I call my son?”
    “No.”
    “I need to see you. Can you come visit me?”
    “You think I want to see you?”
    Danny could sense his father’s growing impatience. He always lost patience far too quickly.
    “Danny,” he said, “this is important. I’m dying!”
    “Well, finally some good news for a change.”
    “I’m serious.”
    “Yeah, me too.”
    “Please.” His father was speaking softly now, almost tenderly. “I need to talk to you before I die. There’s something I have to tell you.”
    Danny knew that tone. The beseeching note in his father’s voice sent an icy shiver down Danny’s spine.

  • “Just go ahead and die,” he said. “Whatever it is, I’m not interested.”
    He was about to hang up when his father suddenly shouted, “This is your fault, you little piece of shit. It should have been you! Not Liam! It should have been you! Then everything would have been different!”
    “Save your breath. You can’t hurt me anymore.” Although he said it with complete conviction, it wasn’t the truth. His father’s words were like knives to his heart. They always had been.
    “You’re an arrogant, condescending prick, Danny.”
    “Hm, wonder who I got that from…”
    “Fine. You asked for it!” His father’s tone shifted abruptly once again, this time growing dangerously quiet. “Listen carefully, because I’m only going to say this once.”
    Danny listened. His hand cramped painfully around the receiver; sweat beaded on his brow. For a moment, he thought the ground was quaking beneath his feet, but it was only his knees threatening to give out. He nearly laughed out loud at the sheer absurdity of his father’s words. Unbelievable. Ridiculous.
    But deep down, he knew they were true.

Somewhere in the beginning of the book...

(...) “Why?” I tried to meet his eyes, but he shut them, avoiding my gaze. His fingernails dug into the skin on his bare arms. He pursed his lips grimly and said nothing.
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.” (...)

Prologue – Summer 1996

Danny jolted awake at the sound of the telephone. Instinctively, he glanced first toward the closed bedroom door, and then to the open window. It was still dark out, though the sky was already hinting at dawn.
The radio alarm clock showed that it was just after five. No big deal for an early riser like him. But it was Sunday. Who the hell was calling him so early?
The ringing continued, but he decided to just ignore it.
Tina, he realized suddenly. She was probably in some kind of trouble again, maybe having an emotional breakdown or looking for a place to crash. She usually called his cell phone, though.
Whoever it was, the caller was apparently hell-bent on getting him out of bed. He rose reluctantly and padded into the hall in his T-shirt and boxers, to the phone hanging on the wall.
“What happened?” he asked sleepily into the receiver.
“It’s me. Your father.”

Danny recognized the voice after the first syllable, and he was immediately wide awake. The hair on the back of his neck stood up. Every nerve ending in his body vibrated. “What do you want?”
“I’m your dad. Can’t I call my son?”
“No.”
“I need to see you. Can you come visit me?”
“You think I want to see you?”
Danny could sense his father’s growing impatience. He always lost patience far too quickly.
“Danny,” he said, “this is important. I’m dying!”
“Well, finally some good news for a change.”
“I’m serious.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Please.” His father was speaking softly now, almost tenderly. “I need to talk to you before I die. There’s something I have to tell you.”
Danny knew that tone. The beseeching note in his father’s voice sent an icy shiver down Danny’s spine.

“Just go ahead and die,” he said. “Whatever it is, I’m not interested.”
He was about to hang up when his father suddenly shouted, “This is your fault, you little piece of shit. It should have been you! Not Liam! It should have been you! Then everything would have been different!”
“Save your breath. You can’t hurt me anymore.” Although he said it with complete conviction, it wasn’t the truth. His father’s words were like knives to his heart. They always had been.
“You’re an arrogant, condescending prick, Danny.”
“Hm, wonder who I got that from…”
“Fine. You asked for it!” His father’s tone shifted abruptly once again, this time growing dangerously quiet. “Listen carefully, because I’m only going to say this once.”
Danny listened. His hand cramped painfully around the receiver; sweat beaded on his brow. For a moment, he thought the ground was quaking beneath his feet, but it was only his knees threatening to give out. He nearly laughed out loud at the sheer absurdity of his father’s words. Unbelievable. Ridiculous.
But deep down, he knew they were true.

The author about her book

I first committed the story of my love for Danny to paper all the way back in 2003. I wasn’t trying to become an author—I just thought writing would help me work through some of the emotional burden I was carrying around. I wrote the manuscript with a typewriter and sent copies to two publishing houses, although without any serious interest in their response. Which made the contract I was offered all the more surprising: someone wanted to publish my story.

So what did I do? I turned it down!

The idea of the whole world knowing my far-too-personal story frightened me so much that I burned the manuscript—in a huge fire in my parents’ garden, a fire that had just finished consuming all my photos of me and Danny. I never managed to burn the photos I wasn’t in, though, and I saved his letters and poems as well, packing them carefully away in a box in the basement until I was ready to close the book on the subject for good.

In 2010—at age 28—I moved to a new city, got married, and had a son. One day, I mentioned to my husband in passing that I’d once written a book and been offered a publishing contract. He asked more questions, and what had started as a short anecdote about Danny became a week-long report. Noticing that I clearly hadn’t come to terms with a few parts of the story, my husband advised me to write it all out (again). From that moment on, I spent every free minute writing.

For weeks, I ran around carrying paper and a pencil, confused, caught up in a completely different time. My notes developed into a highly emotional novel. Purely out of curiosity, I sent the manuscript to five literary agencies. Within a few weeks, four of them had expressed interest, and, after several long conversations with publishers, I finally agreed to put So Near the Horizon out into the world. What happened from then on, still feels like a dream…

The enthusiastic response I received from readers prompted me to continue the series, and So Near the Abyss as well as So Near the Ocean, the second and third books in the Danny Trilogy, were released later on.

What readers say about So Near the Horizon

Rarely have I experienced so much emotion while reading, so much hope and yet so much grief and terror. Again and again you lose faith in humanity, and then the book introduces you to people who give it back to you.

Whenlovespeaks
Goodreads.com

The most emotional, gloomy and at the same time life-affirming book I´ve ever read! The story gave me sleepless nights thinking about how much time is enough for loving and letting go.

Jennifer
Goodreads.com

It's impossible to rate a book like this according to normal criteria, because the characters aren't created - they actually exist. Huge respect to Jessica Koch for actually writing a book about this part of her life.

Ruby-Celtic
Goodreads.com

I couldn't put this book down. The story - and Danny in particular - put me under a spell. From the first word to the last, you feel like it's all real - what it actually is. Read this book!

Janni
Goodreads.com

More to come

Parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy are scheduled for translation to English very soon.

Book and e-book

Available for your kindle e-book reader and as a high-end paperback.

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