The Long Way Home by Fanny Blake

Thank you to the lovely Jess Barratt and Sara-Jade Virtue at Books and the City for the opportunity to read and review The Long Way Home by Fanny Blake. I first heard about the book back in December 2020 at the TeamBATC 2021 Showcase – see below for details of the books featured. The book was published on June 10th and I apologise for taking longer than originally expected to write my review.

Synopsis:

A family secret, a mysterious legacy, and a journey that will change everything…
 
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’s 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…
 
The Long Way Home is set in the UK and 1950s Paris where the story really begins, spanning four generations of women and the secrets that get passed down through them.

My thoughts:

This is my first read of a book written by Fanny Blake and I’m looking forward to reading more in the future. I love a book featuring secrets and this is a story full of them, from the past and in the present day.

The story features Isla, who is reeling from the shock of her mother’s will. She takes a road trip with her grumpy granddaughter Charlie and Jock, her dog, to visit old friends and her sisters before attending the birthday party for her aunt. Can anyone help her find some answers about why her mum treated her differently?

The story also features flashbacks to when her mother worked in Paris, a period of time her daughters were unaware of.

Isla and Charlie start to help each other as the journey progresses, teaching each other some valuable lessons. I loved how their relationship developed. An uplifting read, featuring family secrets, modern day pitfalls of dating and being part of the Instagram generation.

Author Bio:

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is a former books editor of Woman & Home magazine. She has been a judge of a number of literary prizes, including the Costa First Novel award, the Desmond Elliott Award, the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year award and the British Book Awards. She is also the commissioning editor for Quick Reads and a book reviewer. 

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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