Monday, May 7, 2012

The Long Way Home by Karen McQuestion

For Wisconsinites Marnie, Laverne and Rita, life isn't working out so well. Each is biding time, waiting for something better, something to transport them out of what their lives have recently become. And then there's Jazzy: bubbly, positive, and happy even though she hears voices of the departed. Brought together by a chance meeting, the women decide to join Marnie on a road trip from Wisconsin to Las Vegas where she intends to reunite with Troy, the boy she raised as her own—and who she’s been separated from since her boyfriend’s death. Little do they know that as the road trip unfolds, so will their lives—in directions they never anticipated. Humorous, heartwarming, and bittersweet, the journey has something special in store for each woman.

A lovely tale of four women on a life-changing road-trip, this novel will capture most readers of women’s fiction.

This book is all about character development. The plot is amusing, but what really makes the reader sit up and pay attention is the way that the four women evolve throughout its length. Each one is fun to read about, although I have to say that Laverne was by far my favorite, with her loud, outspoken, yet charming ways. The only one I didn’t really warm to was Jazzy. The author uses her to advance the other characters’ stories yet we don’t get a real sense of who she is. That’s the only thing I wish had been handled a bit differently. We should have gotten to know Jazzy better. Rita, with her very practical mindset is hilarious, and Marnie adds a touch of real feeling to the whole group.

There are many great moments in the book, especially in the second half, when the trip is really underway. It’s a wonderful, lovely story that will keep you turning the pages. There is a lot of thought behind each scene, making the journey a smooth one for the reader. I can easily recommend this one.

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