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The Long Road Home Paperback – Oct 19 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (Oct. 19 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778327558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778327554
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #425,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 63 reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A reprint of her first novel, and it shows Nov. 16 2010
By Holly - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a bit confused when I saw this latest release by Mary Alice Monroe. This is an author I pay attention to and usually her new books are released with a certain amount of fanfare and publicity. In this case I just happened to run across this November 1, 2010 release. After buying the book and opening it on my Kindle, I found out why - the novel was her first published novel and the original release was 1995. I love her most of her work, but didn't care as much for "Girl in the Mirror" which was an early offering as well. This is definitely an author that took a time or two to really find her stride and these early books aren't up to the quality of her more recent works.

In this novel, Nora MacKenzie finds herself in financial ruin after her high-roller husband commits suicide in a banker's office. They have lived big - freely spending the vast amounts of money accumulated through his high stakes financial maneuvering and the house of cards has collapsed. The marriage was not good in recent years and with her husband's death, her life is in tatters, but she retains the Vermont farm and decides to try to support herself by making a go of it there. This effort by Ms. Monroe definitely reads like a Nora Roberts romance. The beautiful, wronged heroine rises from the ashes with the help and assistance of a mysterious, handsome stranger who won't talk about his past. Lots of references to mesmerizing eye color and descriptions of the jaw line of our hero.

While not bad, I wish I had known what I was getting before I bought it (no reference anywhere to the fact this was an "old" novel). The author has changed from a fairly sappy romance writer to an author of novels with depth and great character study. This novel has neither and only has flashes of the outstanding writing to come in later efforts.

My bottom line --- if you are a Mary Alice Monroe fan it is interesting since you get to see her first novel. If you are not a fan, I would recommend sticking to her later books since they almost feel like someone else wrote them. Not bad, not good.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A "pizza" book Jan. 6 2011
By K. B. Fenner - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is not fine literature/haute cuisine. This is a book that is like pizza: a set formula, that may vary slightly but is still a formula, with ingredients that vary in quality, not the best nutrition, but not without sustenance, and pretty much always good enough. This is a literary romance novel. You are always going to have a heroine in adversity, a hero who is somehow precluded from uniting with the heroine and at least one of them has grounds to dislike/distrust the other. They overcome these odds and live happily ever after. In the course of overcoming these odds, in the best books, we believe the characters, there are well-drawn supporting characters, the adversities and the overcoming thereof ring true and we learn something about the world around them. Here, there is a somewhat implausible plot involving a banker who, after witnessing and possibly triggering the suicide of our socialite heroine's high-flying businessman husband, goes off the radar for a year, after going off the rails and into rehab, remaking himself as a crack shepherd who educates the experienced sheep farmers of Vermont and earns their undying devotion (yeah, sure). The family-owned bank he leaves is run by characters out of Dynasty, not like any bankers I've encountered (and I did work in that world for many years), and lawyers out of Dickens. This business-educated socialite, for some reason, does not retain counsel of her own, and decides to forego a cash payment for [ta da] a sheep farm in Vermont--THE VERY SHEEP FARM the banker is working for. Yeah sure. There is an effort made to justify this coincidence, but really.

Nonetheless, Mary Alice Monroe, in a re-release of her first novel, is an excellent crafter of pizza-tales. This is not as masterful as some of her later books, but it still holds up for the most part. These are always fantasy tales, but you need enough plausibility to suspend your disbelief, and she writes so well that pretty much you do. The Vermont scenes ring a lot truer than the New York ones, but most of the book is set in Vermont, and it is a very tasty pizza, indeed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Long Road Home April 19 2011
By Sarah - Published on
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book I assumed it was a recent release, but it is actually a re-release of a novel published in 1995. This is the first book I have read by this author, so I wasn't sure what to expect from her writing. I thought the story line sounded interesting (plus the cover is pretty!) so I decided to give it a try.

It didn't take me long to get into this book. It's not super suspenseful, but the story did keep me interested. I really loved the characters in this story, and that is a big reason why I was always ready to pick this book back up and get into the story again. Nora appears to be a pampered housewife on the outside, but when you really get to know her, you find her life is not easy and she is a very loving and strong willed woman. I found myself rooting for her to have a happy ending early on in the book! I really admired how she keep pushing forward when life got her down and she wouldn't let herself fail.

I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more novels by Mary Alice Monroe.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Snobby widow, studly hired man- predictable- not my cuppa tea April 8 2011
By Shana - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This novel is okay I guess, if you are down to a few books to choose from. Though, it just didn't hold my interest from the beginning. The love affair between Nora and C.W. is pushed at the reader on about every other page. Also, I find the plot predictable: formerly wealthy widow reduced to "only" one home in the Vermont countryside, friendly locals that she looks down on as being hillbillies, the secretly rich, studmuffin hired man with a "big secret", evil Wall Street tycoons, tons of sexual tension and typical bickering & miscommunication between the two main characters Nora and C.W.

In the beginning of the book, when Nora is left after her husband commits suicide, she is worried because she is left with a "scant" amount of her husband's estate. Nora goes on to describe a "scant" amount from the remains of her husbands estate as $300,000 and a nice farm house in Vermont. I had to chuckle that $300,000 and a rather large chunk of land and farm house in Vermont was "scant". I could live off that fairly well for at least 8 years! I had a hard time relating to and sympathizing with Nora and perhaps that's why I had a hard time keeping an interest in this book. The author does a nice job with describing locales, but, what could be told in 5 pages seems to drag on for 10 pages.

On the plus side there are interesting details of lambing, farming and the beautiful countryside. Though, it wasn't enough for me to truly enjoy this book.
Four Stars July 14 2014
By Jack Rosenthal - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's my wife Suzan who loved it!

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