With the compelling narrative tension and psychological complexity of the works of Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, Kate Atkinson, and Michael Connelly, Edgar Award-nominee Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely compassionate crime story that explores the mysteries of memory and the impact of violence on survivors—and the lengths they will go to find the painful truth of the events that scarred their lives.
In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were killed in an armed robbery, while one inexplicably survived. Then, a teenage girl vanished from the annual State Fair. Neither crime was ever solved.
Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases quietly echo through survivors’ lives. A private investigator in Vegas, Wyatt’s latest inquiry takes him back to a past he’s tried to escape—and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie house robbery that left six of his friends dead.
Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past—with the day her beautiful older sister Genevieve disappeared. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers.
As fate brings these damaged souls together, their obsessive quests spark sexual currents neither can resist. But will their shared passion and obsession heal them, or push them closer to the edge? Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened, that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free—or ultimately destroy them?
Genre: Mystery & Detective
Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: 02/10/2015
Number of Pages: 464
I got a few moments to sit down with our wonderful author and learned some things that I thought may interest you as well. Enjoy!
The hardest character for me to write in The Long and Faraway Gone was definitely Julianna. Sometimes characters are hard to write because I don’t understand them well enough, and they’re not really coming alive for me – they’re just flat on the page, devices. Julianna, on the other hand, was just the opposite of that. She came alive for me right away and I knew her really well, right from the beginning – I had this deep, emotional connection with her. But because she’s experienced such profound loss and grief in her life, and keeps experiencing that pain, I did too. Writing her took a toll on me I didn’t even realize at the time. It was kind of like having to watch someone you love suffer, but not be able to do anything about that. That’s why it made me so happy, and why it was such a huge relief for me, that at the end of the novel she’s able to turn a corner of sorts, and start moving out of the past and toward a brighter future.
How did you come up with the title?
The original title was Faraway You, which is the title of a song by the indie Philly band Marah. It’s a song I really love, and the vibe of the song kind of fits with the novel. At some point in the process, though, the awesome folks at William Morrow pointed out that the title didn’t really express what kind of novel I’d written. And they were right, because Faraway You could be the title of a romance, or a romantic comedy, or a drama, or…a lot of things. I knew I wanted something more specific about loss, and the past – and how it’s never really past. So I kept the one word, Faraway, and played around until I had something that had the ring I wanted.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t know if there’s a message, exactly, but the idea I hope the novel builds toward is that even if a person is damaged, and damaged badly, that’s not necessarily the end of the story. I think you can honor the past without becoming trapped in it. You can look back, but also move forward.
Read an excerpt:
Lou Berney is the author of two previous novels—Whiplash River, nominated for an Edgar Award, and Gutshot Straight, nominated for a Barry Award-as well as the collection The Road to Bobby Joe and Other Stories. A television and film screenwriter, he also teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.
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