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The Long Walk Home    by Will North order for
Long Walk Home
by Will North
Order:  USA  Can
Shaye Areheart, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

I devoured this engaging story about second chances in only two days. I am usually not a reader of romance novels, but this one is untraditional and beautifully written. In fact, it grabbed me from the very first sentence of the first chapter: 'In a life lived long enough, there are strange symmetries that we recognize only later, if we recognize them at all - moments when an experience or a perception has a parallel moment in another time, a balancing echo, years in the future, or perhaps years in the past, a moment when it feels as if a circle is closing, encompassing and completing something infinitely precious.'

Alec Hudson, an American, flies to London and proceeds to walk all the way to Wales to scatter his ex-wife's ashes. On the way, his path crosses that of Fiona Edwards, who owns a local bed & breakfast. Fiona's husband is practically an invalid: he was poisoned by a toxin used by many sheep farmers and developed an extreme sensitivity to chemicals. As a consequence, David lives in his own home on the property, but he and Fiona haven't shared a home together in a while. She brings him meals but they live separate lives, their grown daughter being their only remaining bond.

When Alec and Fiona meet, it's as if they have known each other all their lives. While Alec is emotionally available, Fiona is tied to her husband, if not by love then by obligation. On a hike up the mountain to scatter his late wife's ashes, Alec sees David near death. Tough choices ensue for everyone. There is also a secondary storyline involving Fiona's daughter and Owen, the farmhand who has been in love with her forever.

This modern day tale about star-crossed lovers has it all: strong, realistic characters, powerful writing, and a feel-good ending. The author's is a new name for me and I look forward to his next book, whatever the subject.

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