Author D. L. Norris invites readers to slow down and enjoy the view, and perhaps spin a story or two, in The Long Way Home, an insightful and memorable novel about family, grief, and growing up.
Maggie Davis stands like a proud pillar at the heart of this tale, a recently widowed mother running a bed and breakfast in an out-of-the-way corner of Nebraska. Guests come and go, with their stories and burdens, grateful for a home-cooked meal and conversation, but small-town life for Maggie is far from simple. In addition to her own battle with loss and loneliness, she must navigate the constantly changing landscape of gossip, residents, and the temperamental moods of the family members still living. As old secrets about her ancestors are revealed, and deeper connections with townsfolk are built, Tilden begins to feel like home, until someone tries to take it all away.
Norris writes with a lyrical pen, painting landscapes and intense emotional moments with easy grace. Every character that appears in this world is vividly shaped and summoned in readers’ minds, whether we are familiar with the archetypes of small towns or not. There is also a slightly heightened formality to the narration, consistent and compelling, as though this is a novel from another time.
Whether we are witnessing Maggie’s self-examination and stirrings of guilt over a new passion, or putting together the pieces of the book’s ultimate twist, Norris’ writing is entrancing and polished. While some of the plot developments are classically predictable, The Long Way Home resonates with mystery, nostalgia, and promise. ~ Self-Publishing Review