Gone Too Long by Lori Roy

Gone Too Long

Lori Roy

Tightly coiled and chilling, Gone Too Long ensnares, twists, and exposes the high price we are willing to pay for the ones we love.

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Two-time Edgar Award–winning author Lori Roy entangles readers in a heart-pounding tale of two women battling for survival against a century’s worth of hate.
On the day a black truck rattles past her house and a Klan flyer lands in her front yard, ten-year-old Beth disappears from her Simmonsville, Georgia, home. Armed with skills honed while caring for an alcoholic mother, she must battle to survive the days and months ahead.

Seven years later, Imogene Coulter is burying her father—a Klan leader she has spent her life distancing herself from—and trying to escape the memories his funeral evokes. But Imogene is forced to confront secrets long held by Simmonsville and her own family when, while clearing out her father's apparent hideout on the day of his funeral, she finds a child. Young and alive, in an abandoned basement, and behind a door that only locks from the outside.
As Imogene begins to uncover the truth of what happened to young Beth all those years ago, her father’s heir apparent to the Klan’s leadership threatens her and her family. Driven by a love that extends beyond the ties of blood, Imogene struggles to save a girl she never knew but will now be bound to forever, and to save herself and those dearest to her. Tightly coiled and chilling, Gone Too Long ensnares, twists, and exposes the high price we are willing to pay for the ones we love.

Advance Galley Reviews

Thank you First to Read for the opportunity to read Gone Too Long by Lori Roy. This is a deep and sometimes disturbing novel. Written in different POV's and timelines, the author tells a story of family trama and drama. Imogene has always challenged her father's politics - he was a member of the KKK and when he dies, she discovers a secret room. It's not what she finds it's WHO and this opens a box of secrets that she is horrified by all the deep rooted family dynamics she uncovers. Imogene wants to know the truth, but in knowing what happened, she may just put herself and family in harms way. Good Book - 3 stars.

The story is told in alternating viewpoints also in past and present between Beth, a young girl who is kidnapped and thrown into a basement and Imogene, a woman who was raised in a family where her stepfather was in the Klan, and her mother was against it but scared to speak up. As if keeping Beth locked away in a basement wasn't enough, her captor throws in a young mother and her newborn son. Beth tasks herself with raising the baby, Christopher, as his mother has lost all hope of escaping and isn't a mother at all. We watch Imogene fight her way through puzzling out what is going on in what turns into a tense "who is at fault." I liked both Imogene and Beth because they were both strong, assertive, women. Imogene never participated in the hatred her step-brother and step-sister did. Beth is a fighter who arms herself with knowledge in what seems an impossible situation. From the moment Roy introduced Jo Lynne I knew I didn't like her. She was proud of her family's involvement in the Klan, she treated Imogene poorly under the guise of caring. Her husband is what I would describe as gross, a man who is supposedly an upstanding citizen and a Klan member in secret. Gone Too Long is a bit like Room but with racism at its roots, in fact, I felt that while the racism was the reason that the story happened the way it was, the story could have still happened without it (but then it would be way too similar to Room). The story was a bit repetitive at times but the characters were rich and the message is strong.

I was hooked from the very beginning. What a heartbreaking story. Completely believable historical fiction. I would definitely recommend. Thanks, First to Read, for my advance copy!

A fine example of historical fiction. And with all the issues around the world between religious groups, political disagreements, racial tensions...this book could not have appeared at a better time. The theme is the KKK but not going to give away any more of the plot. Read it...very well done Lori Roy


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