The Long Way Home by Fanny Blake: uplifting and heartwarming - book review -

A cross-country tour of the UK, and a trip back in time to 1950s Paris, in the company of an anguished grandmother and her phone-fixated teenage granddaughter.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:30 pm
The Long Way Home
The Long Way Home

With staycations still on the cards this summer, curl up with this glorious tale of family secrets and join a rollercoaster road trip that is set to change lives.

Author and freelance journalist Fanny Blake has an eagle eye for the complexity of relationships and it shows in her beautifully observant novels… timeless classics which explore real life, real people and the very human hopes, fears, dreams and dramas that we can all recognise.

In her uplifting and heartwarming new novel, we are treated to a cross-country tour of the UK, and a trip back in time to 1950s Paris in the company of an anguished grandmother and her phone-fixated teenage granddaughter.

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When Isla, a 65-year-old grandmother, is left nothing but an old painting in her mother’s will, while her sisters and aunt inherit the estate, she is devastated. Close to retirement, getting ready to live on her own terms, the last thing she expects at this time of her life is such turmoil.

So, to find an explanation for her mother’s rejection, she embarks on a road-trip. But, right at the last moment, she is forced to take her sullen – and, in her view, impossible – 14-year-old granddaughter Charlie with her.

Cramped together in Isla’s car with her smelly old dog, these ill-assorted travelling companions set off to uncover some shattering and life-changing family truths at the same time as learning to love each other.

Filled with Blake’s wit, compassion, insight and intelligence, The Long Way Home has an intriguing mystery at its heart but this is also a tale of relationships, family secrets and a mysterious legacy, and a delightfully poignant adventure spanning four generations of women.

Blake has her finger firmly on the pulse of women of a certain age, an ability to hone in on the guilt, the anxieties, the uncertainties and the added multi-generational responsibilities that come with being middle-aged.

The road trip becomes an opportunity to dig up the past, make unexpected connections and cross the generation gap… and all set against two timelines in two different countries.

Warm, wise and wonderful…

(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £8.99)