Hernan Diaz's novel In the Distance takes place in the late nineteenth century and follows Håkan Söderström, an immigrant from Sweden who travels to America. Håkan becomes separated from his brother Linus and accidentally boards a boat to California. Håkan decides to begin traveling east towards New York, which was Håkan and Linus’ original destination. During Håkan’s journey, he is faced with many harsh challenges and malevolent figures, but he also encounters kind and altruistic people who wish to help him. The novel explores themes such as deception, benevolence, celebrity, and the value of nature.