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Friday, July 5, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Gone Too Long by Lori Roy @jessmapreviews @duttonbooks

Gone Too Long 
by Lori Roy

Thank you Dutton Books for these copies.  

Publisher: Dutton Books
Publish Date: June 25, 2019
Kindle Edition
320 Pages
Genres: Suspense, Fiction

Two-time Edgar Award–winning author Lori Roy entangles readers in a heart-pounding tale of two women battling for survival against a century’s worth of hate.  
On the day a black truck rattles past her house and a Klan flyer lands in her front yard, ten-year-old Beth disappears from her Simmonsville, Georgia, home. Armed with skills honed while caring for an alcoholic mother, she must battle to survive the days and months ahead.

Seven years later, Imogene Coulter is burying her father—a Klan leader she has spent her life distancing herself from—and trying to escape the memories his funeral evokes. But Imogene is forced to confront secrets long held by Simmonsville and her own family when, while clearing out her father's apparent hideout on the day of his funeral, she finds a child. Young and alive, in an abandoned basement, and behind a door that only locks from the outside.
As Imogene begins to uncover the truth of what happened to young Beth all those years ago, her father’s heir apparent to the Klan’s leadership threatens her and her family. Driven by a love that extends beyond the ties of blood, Imogene struggles to save a girl she never knew but will now be bound to forever, and to save herself and those dearest to her. Tightly coiled and chilling, Gone Too Long ensnares, twists, and exposes the high price we are willing to pay for the ones we love.

My Review:

Here's the thing with this read.  It is interspersed with real history of the KKK, which I always find fascinating and really did add to this story.  The story goes from Imogene in the present to Beth in the past and then how they collide later. The writing is fantastic - this is my first by this author and I can understand the accolades given to her for her talent.  However, for me personally, this story did drag on a bit.  I was more fascinated and invested in Beth's side of the story.  Being inside Imogene's head was painful at times.

This story is a bit haunting and certainly isn't an easy one to read.  The KKK has held a prominent place in our history.  Growing up in the south (and by south, I mean deep real south of Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, etc...), I've certainly been privy to their stupid and scary klan.  Unfortunately in today's climate, they're popping back up more in the public eye and it's terrifying... absolutely terrifying.  But this story is more than just about the KKK.  It's about being a part of a family, being scared, dealing with loyalty and WANTING to be "good", but knowing you really can't.  

It's harrowing and timely and not an easy one to get through.  I struggled at times with the pacing and it didn't QUITE hit the mark for me.  


Jessica's Review:

This was my second outing with Lori Roy and once again, I loved her writing! I need to pick up more from Roy the next time I’m browsing through the bookstore. This wasn’t what I was expecting it to be – I was expecting more of a thriller but I got so much more! A woman that spent her life desperately trying to distance herself as much as possible from her father and his strong connections to the Klan must now face his past.
Imogene has to come home to bury her father. A man that she spent her life distancing from because of his involvement with the Klan. After the funeral, Imogene needs to clear out his possessions from his hideout – what she found changes things forever. Behind a locked door in the basement was a young girl, Beth, and she was alive and well. How did she get there? How long as she been there? What was her father doing? So many questions.
We get to see through Beth’s perspective and Imogene’s as the story progresses. While there is a mystery element to it and some suspense, there is also the historical aspect to this book. The author does include real events, and unfortunately there are still events as recent as 2017 with the Klan. I think the only thing that dropped my rating down a little bit was that there were some parts that really slowed down for me, otherwise I would highly recommend it!
4 stars

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