Amazon Publishing, ISBN 978-1612183565
May 1, 2012, 336 pages
From the book description...
"Marnie’s sorrow over her long-time love’s sudden death is nothing compared to the shock of losing his teenage son Troy (a boy she’s raised for ten years) when he’s whisked away to Las Vegas by his absentee birth mother. Luckily, she meets three unlikely allies at a local grief group who join her on an cross-country road trip to reconnect with him. Along for the ride are fifty-something Rita, still reeling from the murder of her daughter years before; Laverne, Marnie’s reclusive, widowed landlady; and Jazzy, a beautiful young psychic. Together, these four very different women embark on the adventure of their lives--a journey toward reconciliation and healing. Heartwarming, funny, and bittersweet, The Long Way Home is a winning novel of friendship and love from best-selling author Karen McQuestion."
As much as I like my mysteries, full of death and mayhem, sometimes you just need a break, something a bit different, and The Long Way Home certainly filled the bill.
When you read the premise of the book, when I read the premise of the book, I must admit it sounded a bit hard to believe. Would four women who barley knew each other just jump in a car and take off on this big road trip together? It is a sign of the success of this book that when you read how it comes about, yes, it does seem totally believable. Three of these woman, Marnie, Lavene and Rita are all marking time, seeming just waiting for something big to happen, to shake them up and the chance for this trip is just the thing. I can totally buy them jumping at the chance.
Now, Jazzy's situation is a bit different.
Jazzy hears voices. The voices of dead people.
Something, again, that I am not usually a great fan of but here, the author makes it work. Jazzy is so nice, so positive, so concerned that she help people with her 'gift', like her grandmother, who shared the gift before her own death and still turns up from time to time, taught her. She is going along, really leading the group along, because this is what she believes all the women must do. It is fun to watch the story unfold, as we come to know each woman's tale, what has brought her to this point and how she must decide where she will go from here. And each woman's story is nicely wrapped up, setting them on a new path, including Jazzy herself.
Ok, I thought the end of the book was not quite as good as the first half of the book. Maybe I just like anticipation more than conclusions, but I can't say that I totally bought how Marnie and her "stepson's" story ended. Maybe the end of the book was a bit rushed and just pushed my level of belief just a little too far.
But ultimately, not enough to negate my enjoyment of the whole book. And yes, this is a fun, enjoyable book. It is, at times, quite funny and often heartwarming. Surprising my favorite character by the end of the book was the elderly landlady, Laverne. She is a pistol..and a source of much of the book's humor. Not that authors usually listen to my suggestions (for some reason) but I think she is a character that I would love to see reappear in the future.
The book contains a number of storylines that anyone who has lost a loved one will understand and an interesting look at friendship, between some rather unlikely candidates, that is quite sweet..
This is the author's fourth book, and, as she told me in an e-mail, her mom think it is her best so far...lol
I know that has me anxious to see what McQuestion's will come up with in the future.
My thanks to the author with providing me with a copy of this book for review.