December 4, 2016

Long Way Gone

Charles Martin is one of my favorite male authors. I mainly read Women’s Fiction, which is usually written by…well…women. But there are some male writers who can capture the essence and heart of a woman’s psyche. Charles Martin is one of the best.

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.” ~excerpt

Long Way Gone is a beautiful and heartbreaking story of a prodigal son and his journey through life wishing he’d done things differently. Raised by a well-known, pragmatic, yet pure-hearted father, Cooper ‘Peg’ O’Connor wants what he wants, how he wants, when he wants it, so he strikes out on his own—against his father’s wishes.

Cooper is a brilliant songwriter with many gifts and abilities, but his life quickly falls on hard times. He searches for a way to right his wrongs, but listens to his head, rather than his heart.

Charles Martin brilliantly weaves a myriad of people into Cooper’s path. They are purposeful, life changing, and exceptional. I loved nearly every character—Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Slocumb, Daley, Blondie—but my heart melted every time Big-Big graced the page. This gentle giant has depth, meaning, and a loyal heart of gold. If I had to pick one character from this book to be the subject of a new book, it would be him.

“That was the night I learned the value of an old hymn. How something so old and “out-of-date” could say words my heart needed to hear and didn’t know how to say.” ~excerpt

Though this is a love story of sorts, it is much more—music, heartbreak, history, and things unseen... It rips a heart open, gives equal portions to the heart, soul, and mind, and yearns for a salve to heal all three. 

To be completely honest, the story started a little slow for me, but gradually pulled me in and hooked me.  This story, and its characters, will stay with me for a long time. I’ve never read a book like it. It encapsulates a spiritual-ness (could only find a non-word to fit) that can only be fully absorbed by an open and eager heart. Once you finish the book, you’ll understand what I mean.

I highly recommend Long Way Gone. It may even solidify the way you see life, death, and the hereafter. Yeah—it’s that powerful.

5 Stars

Cover: Love
Title: Love
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 320
Pace: Steady
ISBN: 978-0718084714
First Lines: I’d seen him before. Old guy was probably seventy-five. Maybe eighty.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher.

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