A Long Time Gone by Karen White

“{Bootsie} just smiled and told me to wait until I become a mother,
and then I will understand that my real destiny
will be decided by those not yet born.”

Karen White’s recent book A Long Time Gone resonated with me and I found myself  connecting deeply with the characters choices to leave their family though perhaps not in the exact way that the characters did but somewhere deep within the nature of the continuous need to keep moving.

"you can never catch the ghosts you chase"
“When Vivien Walker left her home in the Mississippi Delta, she swore never to go back, as generations of the women in her family had. But in the spring, nine years to the day since she’d left, that’s exactly what happens—Vivien returns, fleeing from a broken marriage and her lost dreams for children.What she hopes to find is solace with “Bootsie,” her dear grandmother who raised her, a Walker woman with a knack for making everything all right. But instead she finds that her grandmother has died and that her estranged mother is drifting further away from her memories. Now Vivien is forced into the unexpected role of caretaker, challenging her personal quest to find the girl she herself once was.But for Vivien things change in ways she cannot imagine when a violent storm reveals the remains of a long-dead woman buried near the Walker home, not far from the cypress swamp that is soon to give up its ghosts. Vivien knows there is now only one way to rediscover herself—by uncovering the secrets of her family and breaking the cycle of loss that has haunted her them for generations.” ~  From the Karen White website

I was easily lost in this story that I found to be both heartwarming and satisfying. I found myself marveling at the author’s ability to keep straight the storyline of this multi-generational story and was delighted with the beautiful writing and several quotable lines.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the uncovering of family secrets and guarded hearts in a well told story.

White is a prolific writer of what she terms “grit lit,” southern women’s fiction and her next novel The Sound of Glass, her nineteenth will be released in May 2015.

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