NO MORE EMPTY SPACES
by D. J. Green
Release date April 9, 2024 | She Writes Press
Available for pre-order anywhere fine books are sold.
Set in the remote and rugged Anatolian mountains of Turkey, a landscape rife with hazards, NO MORE EMPTY SPACES is part-geological tale, part-travelogue, part-adventure, and part-family saga—a gripping and heartrending debut about the forces we can control, and those we can’t.
It’s 1973 and Will Ross, a divorced American geologist, has signed on to work on a dam in Turkey, its foundation riddled with voids. But two weeks before he’s set to leave, he finds his ex-wife passed out in her living room. Determined to get to Turkey, yet also protect his children, he decides to take them with him, but does not share that he has no plans to send them home. And that is just the start of the story. Alongside the emotional conflicts, Will, his children, and everyone at the dam site face powerful external forces—natural hazards that impact their lives every day. Science can help them understand those forces and engineering can help control them, but each character gradually comes to realize that the landscape they stand upon, and the landscapes of their lives, will shift and shake. The question, then, is: how will they respond? Moving and timely, NO MORE EMPTY SPACES will make you think about how you relate to yourself, your family, and the Earth with its ever-changing processes.
“When Will Ross is hired to assess a dam in a remote region of Turkey, he brings his three reluctant children to live at the edge of the failing project. No More Empty Spaces is a generous and large-hearted portrayal of a family in precarity and a nuanced exploration of the tradeoffs we make to protect the people we love against forces natural and man-made. These characters are as complex and layered as the geology Will Ross is studying. A beautiful, deeply-felt, and transporting debut.”
—Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of The Five Wounds and Night at the Fiestas
No More Empty Spaces is an excellent debut—straight-forward and yet deceptively complex as it situates its multi-layered narratives between the competing forces of nature, both human and geological, over time. Green’s depictions of the rugged and earthquake-prone Anatolian Mountain region of Turkey evoke a dangerously shifting landscape every bit as unstable and unpredictable as the broken American family that seeks to heal itself there.
—James Anderson, Author of The Never-Open Desert Diner and Lullaby Road
Love is never simple. If we do it right, it costs everything. This sensitive, probing novel made me rethink what it means to have mastery: in a discipline; in a relationship; ultimately over our own flawed selves. These characters battle it out and emerge transformed, learning to trust one another to fill the cracks and empty spaces life doles out. The rich science and evocative landscapes drew me in, but I stayed for the Ross family. I’m glad I did.
—Summer Wood, Author of Arroyo and Raising Wrecker
No More Empty Spaces is a wonderful read, with some of the best prose I’ve seen regarding the intractable forces of nature. This struggling blended family faces every kind of overwhelming challenge, from love to liquor to the great dam at Kayakale in Turkey. The book made me want to go there and see this extraordinary landscape for myself!
—A. R. Taylor, Author of Jenna Takes the Fall and Call Me When You’re Dead
American geologist, Will Ross, has landed the job of a lifetime, one that will take him from Philadelphia to a remote region of Turkey along the Euphrates River. At the eleventh hour, when he’s packed and ready to fly, the divorced father of three discovers his ex—passed out and naked—on the family’s living room couch. Will has to decide what to do. Without hesitating, he does the hard, risky, right thing. Turns out, it’s a habit with him, one that impressed the hell out of this reader. No More Empty Spaces is a rich and rewarding read, a novel to savor, like a steaming cup of Turkish coffee.
—Sharon Oard Warner, Author of Writing the Novella
“D. J. Green skillfully intertwines a story of what lies below: the earth with its complex geology and a man’s emotions, also buried deeply, each affected by history and environment. In No More Empty Spaces, Green takes us to the world of Turkey where Will, an engineering geologist, moves his family while he seeks to investigate a problematic dam structure, along with unexpected challenges to his beliefs about family and integrity. Green’s debut is both masterful and engaging.”
—Sharon Bippus, author of This Blue Earth