A Long Time Gone
Setting: Mississippi Delta
NAL, Mass Market Paperback, April 07, 2015
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“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.
Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee for “Best Mainstream, Young Adult & New Adult” Book
—RT Book Reviews
"One of the best books (so far) of 2014."
"Karen White's A Long Time Gone leaves readers in that most pleasant teary-eyed state that only a very good book can induce."
—Southern Literary Review
GOLD Top Pick
"Her colorful narrative is melodious and haunting, and gives a Tennessee Williams-like aura to the awesomely depicted places and all of her impeccably played and fantastic characters. Brava!"
—RT Book Reviews
"Sunburn alert! This multi-generational family saga is a book you could get lost in, so read with care in the bright sunshine."
"A sweet Southern tale of the bond between mothers and daughters...emotionally satisfying..."
"White...crafts a story with something for almost everyone: betrayal, murder, history, family secrets, and a little romance. Readers will find it difficult to put this one down since each chapter leaves one craving more of the Walker women’s stories. Recommended.
"Karen White's new delta-drawn narrative is gothic gold."
“A Long Time Gone” is Karen White’s best novel to date..Use your vacation reading to escape and immerse in this world White has so deftly created. It’s so real that it’s hard to leave at the end."
"White...writes, plots and develops characters to levels above the usual summer-reading fare..."
"This southern saga of life in Mississippi [is] one of White's best, and that means it is very, very good."
—The Huffington Post
"Intense, riveting, and mysterious contemporary fiction -- finely told -- a best seller!"
—The Best Reviews
"...an absorbing drama. [This] is why White consistently prevails as a shining literary star."
One of "10 Best Beach Reads"
"...White’s lyrical prose recalls the melancholic harmony of the blues and the hypnotic southern drawl of novelists Olive Ann Burns and Kaye Gibbons...There’s no question that White has a gift for words. That, and a deftly constructed plot, make A Long Time Gone a recommended read."
"A good choice for readers who like the history and secrets of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (2013) or the intergenerational female stories of Sarah Addison Allen."
"[The characters'] collective views offer glimpses into old secrets and future hopes in White’s richly detailed narrative."
—The Washington Post