Long Way Gone

long-way-goneAuthor: Charles Martin

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A fantastic, fast paced, emotionally gripping read! I couldn’t put it down until I knew what was going to happen next!

Cooper O’Connor knows how to make music. Not for personal gain or profit, but how to actually reach into people’s souls and touch them with his notes.  But he also knows trials and tribulations.  One day after playing an impromptu set up with an older man in Leadville, Colorado, Cooper sees a woman thumbing a ride down the road.  He dismisses it, but as he arrives home in Buena Vista, he sees her again with a smashed guitar and a gash on her forehead.  As he quickly gets out of his jeep to help her before she passes out, he realizes that it is a blast from his past.  The one and only Daley Cross, who was once well known on the country music circuit, has just passed out in his arms.  Now in the hospital, Daley wakes up and realizes that Cooper has been the one to rescue her.  Cooper yearns to start over in a relationship with Daley, but also knows that the past twenty years has had other people spinning a few lies to Daley about why he left Nashville.  The journey ahead dives back into the past with an accident that left Cooper with a gunshot wound and left in a burning building.  Can Cooper tell Daley the truth?  And will Daley believe him?

This is easily one of the top ten books that I have read for the year! I apologize if my synopsis is a little vague, but there is so much in this book that must be left for the reader to learn on his or her own.  The way it is set up, I could easily spoil a large part of the story and I really don’t want to do that.  However, I suppose that I could give you a little bit more.

The book is broken up into three parts. It begins is present day set mainly in Buena Vista, Colorado but also in Leadville, which are both mountain towns.  I’m a big fan of each because my husband and I used to frequent Ski Cooper in Leadville and traveled through Buena Vista to get there, so I know a bit about the layout of both towns.  I was a little saddened to see that the Quincy St. Steakhouse (located in both towns) wasn’t mentioned (really good filets at a great price).  Back to the story, part one focuses on Cooper and Daley’s relationship after being separated for twenty years.  This part only last for a few days.  Then part two heads back to memory lane with Cooper’s upbringing as the son of a revival tent preacher through his journey to Nashville and eventual return to Buena Vista.  Part three then picks back up where part one left off.

There is some parallel to the story of the prodigal son, but not identical. Cooper takes the inheritance he feels he deserves and insults his father and eventually returns home, but the journey and the return are not quite what you would expect from the story.  I warn readers that this book has some very raw emotion in it that can easily get to you.  A great story about unconditional love!  Even so, I couldn’t put it down.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest and thorough review. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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