Thursday, October 11, 2018

Book Review: The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree by Paola Peretti

Title: The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree
Author: Paola Peretti (translated by Denise Muir)
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Genres: Childrens, Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: August 9th, 2018
Pages: 256

Synopsis (Goodreads): A novel for all ages about a young girl losing her sight, inspired by the author's own life story. For fans of Wonder, The Little Prince and The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly.

Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl who knows one thing: some time in the next six months her sight will fail completely. Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play football and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Mafalda needs to discover the things that will be important to her when her sight has failed. A moving, empowering tale of courage and determination that will inspire young and old.


My rating: 5 / 5 ★

There are good reasons as to why it took me almost a month to finish reading The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree: The first one would be my book slump. Even from the start, I had loved this book, but I was slightly stressed due to uni so I could not read much. Secondly, almost each chapter of this book made me tear up. It was hard for me to flip through the pages quickly as all I felt was to cry my heart out. This book breaks me, in the softest and warmest way possible.

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is about little Mafalda who has been diagnosed with the Stargardt disease and how she struggles to get used to her progressively vision loss. It is a story of how a girl has to learn to be independent and how she copes with it emotionally and physically. It's hard to swallow that people as young as Mafalda had to go through such a rough journey, and the fact that this story is inspired by the author's own experience made it more genuine and sincere. It had never occurred to me how people with visual impairment had to live their lives, and I believe these people are very strong.

Nine years old Mafalda is a sweet girl, but due to her condition, she had no best friend. It breaks my heart to see how lonely she feels, and how she longed to have someone next to her now that the darkness is taking over her. Her "talks" with a fiction character, Cosimo, is enough to make me tear up. So, when Filippo comes along with his own merry spirit and curiousity, it delights me that both children connects with each other. The same goes for Estella, one of the school caretaker that befriends Mafalda. Her character plays a rather large role in shaping Mafalda to be stronger and I am truly thankful towards her. Mafalda's friendship with Estella and Filippo made me feel warm, and there you go, I'm crying again.

The story progresses as Mafalda loses more of her vision, and even though this is a children's literature, the language and words spun to describe the experience of the girl feels mature, yet we can still be aware that she is still only nine years old. Mafalda may be scared of the darkness threatening to take her in, but she still faces it head on with much courage, though she only realised it later that she is actually not giving up at all. "Fear will always be there, but live your life. Never ever give up." These messages are possibly highlighted throughout the story.

All in all, I really feel deeply emotional towards this book. The characters, the plot and the issues contained in the story is warm, heartbreaking and bittersweet. Almost every chapter did make me tear up, but the ending is very touching to the point that I actually cried in public. It's more than I hoped, and I just love the ending as much as I love everything about The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree. To Paola Peretti, you might never read this, but I am utterly grateful for this story and the message it carried within. They say experience matures you, and I believe your own experience made this story so beautifully woven and it thought me a lot of good things. I hope you'll live your life with more happy moments, because you deserve it 

This book is definitely one of the prettiest books that I own. I love every single part of it, from the front cover till the back, everything is too beautiful. The illustrations are truly remarkable!

Thank you Pansing for providing me with this review copy. The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is available in all good bookstores. I believe that I can recommend this book to all ages, especially to younger readers because it contains great morals and you'll find yourself warming up with the characters in no time.


"To live in fear, Mafalda, is not to live at all."
I have a massive smile on my face and prickling in my eyes. To live in fear is not to live at all, to live in fear is not to live at all... I'm not sure I understand the story about the scribe's cat but it's nice and it makes me tingle, like Filippo's music.

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'


PSD Colouring (base) - PSD 18 by Moon2k2

Fonts -


  1. The book sounds good and your review + beautiful photos has convinced me to check the book

    1. Thank you so much ♡ I'm happy that I convinced you to check out the book, it's definitely a very good book!

  2. Dear Aishah, at the end I fondi out your review today. THANK YOU!! You make me happy, I got that you really had a deep feeling with me and Mafalda. I write books for this, to enter in ccnnection with people. Thanks. I hope you will like the sequel too. Have a great life.