Editor's Note:  This week's guest blogger is my assistant, Angela May.  It is always interesting to learn what readers enjoy about a novel.  

I had been a Mary Alice Monroe fan long before I had the pleasure of working with her as assistant and public relations liaison. The first novel I read was SWEETGRASS and I have since devoured the rest of her books. You know that feeling right? It’s like a literary binge or addiction. What a grand high you get from reading a good book, and so you go searching for every other book by that author. But then the crash comes when you finish reading all of them and you’re left craving more (waiting for a book release always seems to take too long, at least for us readers).

So, imagine my delight when shortly after I starting working with her I learned that I had NOT read all of her books. That’s when Mary Alice told me about THE LONG ROAD HOME, her first novel, which had been out of print since 1995 and next to impossible to find anywhere. She kindly gave me a copy.

I must confess.  Because it was her “first” book, I figured it couldn’t be as good as the rest of her work. Usually, a person's “first” anything is something they try to bury in their memory (kind of like my first live reports as a journalist working for a local television station).

Well, shame on me for having the thought cross my mind that THE LONG ROAD HOME might not be as good as the rest. I was hooked by page 2 of the prologue!

Here’s the basic rundown-- Michael MacKenzie, a shady businessman, makes a public suicide inside a bank. His shocking death leaves his socialite wife, Nora MacKenzie, widowed and suddenly bankrupt, forcing her to try to make a life of her own at a small sheep farm the Vermont mountains. That’s where she meets C.W., a farmhand secretly on the run from his past life, after witnessing the MacKenzie suicide. All Nora knows is that the truth behind her husband’s death is scrawled in the pages of his diary, which she has yet to make sense of.

To me, THE LONG ROAD HOME is secrecy and suspense, hope and healing. You want Nora to make it as a farm girl, but the odds are heavily stacked against her. This novel is so different from the bestselling novels that her fans are most familiar with. However, the similarity I did see was that the parallels of humans and nature she so poignantly writes about in her Lowcountry-based novels existed in her work from the very beginning. That talent has always been a foundation of her writing style since book number one.

I’m thrilled that THE LONG ROAD HOME is available in bookstores again fifteen years after its debut. Now I’ll finally have other people I can talk with about the novel!

1 comment:

  1. I just finished The Long Road Home and loved it! I grew up in VT and know the area the book is set in. Did the author spend a lot of time in this area? It was like taking a trip back home!


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All the best,
Mary Alice