Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Gone Too Long by Lori Roy
Narrator: Catherine Taber, Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Chris Gebauer
Published by Penguin Audio on June 25, 2019
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Length: 11 hours, 26 minutes
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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.
A story from a different time and place, which I would call historical fiction / suspense. Gone Too Long is a bit of a mystery but the feel is more historical fiction. It does feel like something which could happen, sadly.
The uglier side of humanity is clear (KKK) and various human weaknesses in morals and integrity. Our main narrator, Imogene, is somewhat unreliable initially as she is hiding in grief with alcohol. Her voice tells the story of the present day, contrasted with Beth’s voice starting 7 years ago and working its way to the present. Christopher has a very small point of view in the present which I appreciated knowing.
Both women break my heart, but especially Beth. She never gets a real chance with an alcoholic single mother, abducted at 10 by a KKK lackey, and living in a basement, locked in for 7 years. I admire her intelligence, patience, courage and strength of spirit. She read and kept herself knowledgeable, remarkable for one so young and isolated.
Imogene has not had an easy life either. She suffered some losses which had her retreating from life. Now there is a child and she rouses herself to deal with the horrors of the past to save his future. Beth and Imogene risk much to try to save him. The evil is chilling and the disregard for other’s lives and health is disturbing.
There are three narrators. The two women sound appropriate in age, slight southern lilt and emotional authenticity. The male voice for the child was very little of the audio but it felt too old and too confident for the terror he must have been feeling. I enjoyed the performance at a comfortable 1.5x speed.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Audiobooks
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Excellent review, Anne? Thanks for the heads up about it being historical fiction. I love that multiple narrators are used. I’ve got this on audio, too.
Well it feels like historical fiction, like from the 50s but it’s closer to today. I never got an exact timing in my head. But it’s the small town racist KKK stuff which makes it feel that way. It could be today with all the crap that is happening lately.
You caught my attention at the mention of it being something that could happen in current times. And I like the idea of multiple narrators.
This might actually be current times but it feels very old school.
Wow… this sounds very difficult. Thanks for reading on my behalf – I don’t know that I could.
Yeah these people who are prejudiced are not fun or fair. They are all about themselves and don’t care who they hurt. They group together to put down everyone not like them – female, black, young, old, poor – really anyone they can bully to grab for themselves. And not just bully – kill, beat up, steal from, rape, etc.
This historical sounds emotional and well done Anne. Lovely review.
I think it was well-written even with the difficult subject matter.