With the compelling narrative tension and psychological complexity of the works of Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, Kate Atkinson, and Michael Connelly, Edgar Award-nominee Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely compassionate crime story that explores the mysteries of memory and the impact of violence on survivors—and the lengths they will go to find the painful truth of the events that scarred their lives
In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were killed in an armed robbery, while one inexplicably survived. Then, a teenage girl vanished from the annual State Fair. Neither crime was ever solved.
Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases quietly echo through survivors’ lives. A private investigator in Vegas, Wyatt’s latest inquiry takes him back to a past he’s tried to escape—and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie house robbery that left six of his friends dead.
Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past—with the day her beautiful older sister Genevieve disappeared. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers.
As fate brings these damaged souls together, their obsessive quests spark sexual currents neither can resist. But will their shared passion and obsession heal them, or push them closer to the edge? Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened, that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free—or ultimately destroy them?
Some friends and I have started a monthly book club, and while discussing things with them, I came up with the brilliant idea of incorporating the book club into my blog. One of my friends, Gemma, is also a blogger, so we’ll be doing a joint post each month in which we share our separate thoughts on the book and talk about how the book went down with the book club as a whole.
The Long and Faraway Gone was actually our first book club pick. It went down really well, because all of us love a good mystery. The Long and Faraway Gone focusses on two characters who both experiences trauma in the past, and who are now drawn back into investigating the incidents that affected them so much.
I really enjoyed the overall plot of this novel, although I thought that the execution was a bit poor at times. The introduction to the characters was really good, and I was intrigued by the mysteries at first, but at some point in the middle it starts to dwindle. I got incredibly bored by Julianna’s part of the story, and Wyatt’s wasn’t much better.
The book wrapped up Wyatt’s mystery and storyline quite well, though. His was definitely the most captivating of the two plots. Julianna’s conclusion was, to be perfectly honest, stupid. The author completely brushed over Julianna’s reaction to the big reveal, and we didn’t get to see much emotion at all. It was kind of like “Well, I guess that’s it, cool, bye bye.” It was really disappointing.
The Long and Faraway Gone is a book I’d recommend if you’re into literary fiction or mysteries that aren’t intense thrillers. It’s a well-written book and it has a lot of fans. It just wasn’t that big of a hit for me.
I enjoyed this to begin with. It seemed to drag on in the middle and then one of the endings felt rushed. I liked how the two mysteries alternated throughout the book but I wished they had intertwined more. It almost felt like I was reading two separate books.
You can read more of Gemma’s thoughts here.