Review: A Long Time Gone by Karen White

We are born to fight the bends and curves of our own rivers, pushing back that which will not give, understanding where we are meant to be only when we let go and let the river take us back tot he place where we began.

Vivien Walker left home in Mississippi nine year ago, running away from her family and friends to California to start a new life. But when her marriage ended and she lost the custody of her stepdaughter, she left with no other choice than to go back. By arriving at the Walkers she finds out her grandmother Bootsie passed away, her mother slowly loses her memory and the remains of a long-dead woman were revealed in the yard. As she was thinking the surprises are over, her stepdaughter Chloe runs away and shows up in Mississippi.

Vivien begins a journey to the past to 1920’s and 1960’s and reveals many secrets about her family. During her research, she learns to understand her mother and other Walker women and let go of the painful memories of her childhood. She balances between finally finding a way to forgive her mother and building a relationship with the rebellious teenager.

This novel opens up a curtain to the life of three generations of Walker family. Living in the 1920’s Adelaide is a sweet and innocent girl who lost her mother but managed to find life once again when she gave birth to Elizabeth “Bootsie”. In the 1960’s we follow the rebellious Carol Lynne, Bootsie’s daughter. The present day is told from Carol Lynne’s daughter Vivien perspective.

I enjoyed the profound look at the Walkers family history through the eyes of few generations. Each era was fascinating and charming in its way. I enjoyed the characters who were so different but so alike at the same time. Is that possible? I was curious to learn more about every one of them and their relationships. Despite many years of separation they could except each other back in the family and forgive. This novel really advertises the importance of a family. Not necessarily, the one you’re born into. And that’s what made this book very affecting and inspiring.

But the thing I enjoyed most about this novel was the setting. The alluring and captivating atmosphere of the southern town in Mississippi, with its southern charm and cavalierly and manners, the oak trees, hospitality, respect to family traditions and so on. I could easily disconnect from the reality and get lost in this marvelous story of family reunion.


Rating: 5/5


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