Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Long Time Gone

Idgie Says: 
As usual, Karen brings to life the characters and place in her novel as she uses her words to create easily imagined living, breathing scenes.  You may not always like the characters in the story, but you are able to realistically believe in them.  For instance, I didn't care much for Vivien when I started reading - she comes off as self-centered  yet meek in areas of her life and bull headed in the others - and neither are in the right place. To go running back to a grandma when your life goes to crap, a grandma who you didn't bother to keep up with enough to even realize she died....  

Then there's her long lost beau who claims to have given up his life dream goal and stayed in town instead  because he lost her - ridiculous and weak of him to do that.  BUT... you still believe he did it.  So while the main characters may have gnawed at me a bit in irritation, at the same time I was immediately engrossed in the novel by page 2. 

I was grabbed by the story when the mystery in the present was teased by earlier events starting in the 1920s.  The novel goes back and forth in time until it slowly meets in the middle ground so that we may all discover just whose body is buried under the tree in the backyard and why.  Meanwhile, we also wait for Vivien to "snap out of it" and become a total person again.  

A nice hearty book easy to sink into and stay interested all the way through. I even began to like all the characters by the end of the book.  :)

Karen White
New American Library/Penguin Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0451240460
On Sale June 3, 2014

“We Walker women were born screaming into this world, the beginning of a lifelong quest to find what would quiet us. But whatever drove us away was never stronger than the pull of what brought us back....” 
When Vivien Walker left her home in the Mississippi Delta, she swore never to go back, as generations of the women in her family had. But in the spring, nine years to the day since she’d left, that’s exactly what happens—Vivien returns, fleeing from a broken marriage and her lost dreams for children.

What she hopes to find is solace with “Bootsie,” her dear grandmother who raised her, a Walker woman with a knack for making everything all right. But instead she finds that her grandmother has died and that her estranged mother is drifting further away from her memories. Now Vivien is forced into the unexpected role of caretaker, challenging her personal quest to find the girl she herself once was.

But for Vivien things change in ways she cannot imagine when a violent storm reveals the remains of a long-dead woman buried near the Walker home, not far from the cypress swamp that is soon to give up its ghosts. Vivien knows there is now only one way to rediscover herself—by uncovering the secrets of her family and breaking the cycle of loss that has haunted her them for generations.