A Long Time Gone

A Long Time Gone

by Karen White
4.3 29

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A Long Time Gone by Karen White

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street novels comes an enthralling southern gothic saga about one woman's quest for the truth...

When Vivien Walker left her home in the Mississippi Delta, she swore never to go back. But in the spring, nine years to the day since she’d left, Vivien returns, fleeing from a broken marriage and her lost dreams for children.

What she hopes to find is solace with her dear grandmother who raised her, a Walker woman with a knack for making everything all right. Instead Vivien is forced into the unexpected role of caretaker, challenging her personal quest to find the girl she once was. But things will change again in ways Vivien cannot imagine. A violent storm has revealed 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 them for generations.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698146716
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/03/2014
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 19,904
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.

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A Long Time Gone 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Loved Karen White's newest novel, A Long Time Gone. Loved the characters. The story spans time from the 1920's to present day and four generations of a family. Ms. White has the great gift of creating fabulous characters and makes each book a memorable one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Karen White did it again. I can't put this book down! I always try to stay on top of when her books come out to preorder! I have read evey book she has written. She brings the south to me and I love it. Karen Whiteis a great story teller!
JBS75 More than 1 year ago
Family dynamics in the South-must read. Karen White involves the reader in day-to-day happenings of the family and you never know what to expect. It is another winner!
daffodilgb More than 1 year ago
This is the best written work of Karen White yet.  It amazes me how she can develop the characters with such mystery that keeps you reading and makes you not want to stop until the book is read in one sitting.  Yes, it is hard to be patient to let the story unfold yet most of her work is a past/present work.  It makes you think about your own life and its past because the past is what makes the future or present times.  We all have a family history though we don't usually think about it much past our parents or grandparents.  However, events happen that need an explanation to understand them.  This particular story was a sad story indeed because of the past events but they are what they are.  I personally enjoyed the book and will admit it is hard to be patient to see how the past characters have to do with the present characters and they do connect in the end. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If this is one of your favorite authors, as is mine, you may be disappointed. So many characters, so many time changes and I never knew any well enough to want to know more or love them. They even felt disconnected from each other. A long windy read you force yourself through and thats that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice plot. Interesting characters. A bit of a page turner in a who.done.it sense. Worth the time and $$.
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
Karen White’s A LONG TIME GONE, a poignant multi-generational novel—takes readers back to the southern Walker home roots, in the Mississippi Delta. Dark family secrets surface, with three generations of Walker women, all fighting their own demons, and past in this poignant mother-daughter family saga. “But whatever drove them away was never stronger than the pull of what brought them back.” It's been nine years since Vivien Walker Moise moved to California without looking back. Unfortunately, due to a failed marriage, divorce, and a miscarriage, she finds herself back at home—where she swore she would never return. Where else does she have to go? She now is depending on pills to get her through the day and night. She longs to see her grandmother, and misses her step-daughter, Chloe—realizing she is fighting a losing battle trying to get her away from her biological dad. Vivien is shocked when she finds her beloved grandmother Bootsie, who raised her, has died and her estranged mother is suffering from early stages of Alzheimer's. Now she has to assume the role of caretaker (just what she wants, right)? After a storm, a body is discovered, Vivien’s goal is to solve the mystery of the past and uncover the secrets which have haunted these woman. In the meantime, Vivien begins to discover more about herself, and what is important to her. Flash backs from the 1920s, to 2013 in diary entries, and recounts from older close friend, Mathilda, this contemporary historical novel uncovers dark family secrets which were taken to the grave—racial tension, prohibition, addiction, bigotry, KKK, abandonment, betrayal, and murder. Vivien knows she has to give up the pills if she stands a chance at getting to spend time with Chloe. (The relationship between these two were quite funny and endearing). Can Vivian find her way in this small town which grounds her, working on the land and her garden, will she find romance with an old flame, conquer her addiction, and be able to renew a mother daughter relationship with her step-daughter? Can she and her mother find their way back to one another before it is too late? A moving story of forgiveness and redemption. Readers who enjoy southern fiction and a multi-generational family saga, will appreciate. I listened to the audio version and narrators Pilar Witherspoon, Jennifer Ikeda, and Susan Bennett, did a good job--voices blending with the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me say that this pre order book will make me NEVER preorder again. This was truly terrible. I usually love this authors works but this...terrible. back and forth, back and forth and you think there is going to be a huge secret. But, what you get is really this author trying to tell 2 different stories at the same time. You know....if you wanted to write about the 1900's, then do that. Dont go jumping all over the place with a disconnected feel. Then the main character, i could not stand her. Self absorded....i could not stand her. Folks save your money on this. If this is your first look at this author....stop. pick up one of her earlier books as they are worth the read. Toss this aside. Now i get it, pre order is a way for the industry to get yoy to buy books based upon name and not the book. Fool me once......
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
“I think that it doesn’t matter how or why, but not having a mama is like being born without a heart.” Three generations of women whose mothers were “absent” from the lives of their daughters; but don’t judge harshly for there is more than meets the eye in the story of Adelaide Walker Bodine (1920’s), Carol Lynne Walker Moise (1960’s) and Vivien Walker Moise (2013). Their stories begin with Vivien returning to Indian Mount, Mississippi after being left a drug addict and hopelessly lost young woman whose husband enabled her addiction and then threw her out as an unfit wife and stepmother to his daughter Chloe. As Vivien was lost before she ever met him because of her own loss of her mother for many years, she’s got zilch self-confidence. Her life will change however upon her return to her “home.” Carol Lynne is now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Vivien wrestles between her anger at her and gradual realization she needs to help what cannot be healed, and perhaps even forgive for reasons she has yet to discover! Adelaide and Sarah are best friends as children, always accompanied by a young African-American girl, Mathilda, whose job was to chaperone them, hardly a suitable job for the wild Sarah who drags Adelaide into “situations” guaranteed to bring more than trouble. Tripp (an old friend) and Tommy (Viven’s brother) gradually adjust to Vivien’s ways, again forced into dramatic change with the arrival of Chloe, Vivien’s stepdaughter. It’s a new life and Vivien has to battle her resentments and addiction now she has a second chance to give to Chloe what she feels she never got, a chance at redemption and perhaps romance. Add to the mix the mystery and secrets behind a skeleton discovered next to their home after a lightning bolt struck down a tree that unearthed the stark white bones on dark dirt that haunted them all. The discovery behind those bones is earth-shattering indeed. Karen White has done it again, crafting a haunting tale with spunky, dysfunctional characters who must endure unimaginable trials to mature and get over their stubborn, attitude-laden thinking and acting. Intense, riveting, and mysterious contemporary fiction – finely told – a best seller!
JB55SC More than 1 year ago
I love Karen White's books. Although this is a little different than her other books that I have read, it is just as good taking you through four generations of woman and how their history bonds them together. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book! I loved the characters and the story within the story. I did'nt want it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best book yet by this author. I loved it and could hardly put it down.
anovelreview_blogspot_com More than 1 year ago
As I began reading A Long Time Gone, I was reminded why I've become such a huge fan of Karen White. Page one doesn't just bring Vivien home, it brings the reader to the Delta. A Long Time Gone is not just Vivien's story, but the story of the women who came before her, their lives shaping her and her quest to find out why. There is the story of Vivien in the present. After coming home, Vivien gets shock after shock. She left years before and never looked back, never called home. She comes home almost with the idea that nothing would really change. She is pushed into helping out the local library and it begins a quest to find out a mystery about her family. There is also the point of view of her mother Carol Lynne. Carol Lynne had abandoned Viven and her brother when they were growing up. When her mother finally comes home to stay Vivien took off without looking back. Carol Lynne's story is told with diary entries. The last point of view is Adelaide in the 1920's. This was my favorite point of view. I love the time period and I couldn't be sure what was going to happen with her story. I just couldn't reconcile what I know and how it would play out. I won't say more other than, wow. Karen's novels are always beautifully written and atmospheric. I loved each of the three points of view and how they move Vivien forward. What a family has thought to be true, is so much more. I found myself similar to Vivien, in the more I began to learn about the family history the deeper I wanted to go. Just because we understand events to be one thing, doesn't always mean our perceptions are true. We are not the past. A Long Time Gone was one of those books that once you begin you are going to stay up late into the evening to finish. A generational story you don't' want to miss! I am highly recommending it!
bookwormSF More than 1 year ago
Mesmerizing from the very first page. I could not put this book down and spent the whole day engrossed in this fabulous story. I feel like I was part of the story. Just wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters became MY family! This is the way history was meant to be learned. Wrapped up in real lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved every minute of this book. I look forward to reading more books by Karen White.
nbaker1234 More than 1 year ago
Karen White creates emotional, deep south, family-tie stories and she has set the bar even higher for similar authors when she wrote A Long Time Gone. This story covers four generations of women, all held together by a sense of "home". How I longed to enjoy the 1920's with Adelaide and witness her adolescent years spent with Sarah and watch her relationship with John take shape. I wanted to dip my hands in the damp earth with Bootsie as she planted her seedlings and help her pull weeds that may encroach on the vegetables' ladder to maturity. I desperately wanted to shake some sense into Carol Lynn and show her that her love for her children was stronger than her afflictions and other dependencies. My heart hurt for Vivian who so badly needed the love and acceptance of her mother but couldn't recover from the hurt and isolation that her mother's frequent absences brought to her life. This is a beautifully written story showing the power and strength of women. And when you throw in the mix an additive called motherhood to their make-up, you find they possess fortitude, endurance and compassion beyond measure. A heart-warming story that will make you want to go lie beneath a cypress tree and count the stars and, if you're lucky, count the crows as they fly.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
I have never read Karen White and enjoyed this novel. I liked the three different voices: the grandmother, the mother, and the daughter. I felt the daughter's voice the least interesting and dynamic, but the grandmother and mother contributed to understanding the daughter. The minor characters had various roles in relating the story, but the men in the story were very flat characters. I am learning to appreciate audio books, and was disappointed in having to read this story, as the descriptive language is better in listening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book, it was such a good read! Once I started I couldn't stop. It helped me realize things about myself I never even thought of or realized before. I'd reccomend it to anyone. I could read it again and again. I'm so glad I gave it a chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For her she is awesome writer I enjoyed this as much as her other books!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is Ms. White's best novel she has ever written. I loved the characters and the story flowed beautifully. Yes there were many characters but each character had a story to tell and the author did a nice job of writing their stories. Loved the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great one from Karen White