September 1, 2007
The Long Walk Home
The Long Walk Home by Will North
Finished on 8/24/07
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)
When forty-three-year-old Fiona Edwards first sees the lanky backpacker striding up the lane toward her award-winning farmhouse bed-and-breakfast in the remote mountains of North Wales, she’s puzzled. She’s used to unexpected strangers, but few arrive on foot. The man to whom she opens her door is middle-aged, unshaven, sweat-soaked . . . and arrestingly handsome. What neither of them knows at that moment is that their lives are about to change forever.
American Alec Hudson has carried the ashes—and the memory—of his late ex-wife, Gwynne, all the way from London’s Heathrow Airport, honoring her request that he scatter them atop a mountain they had climbed together years before—the same brooding peak whose jagged cliffs rise to the sky from the back pastures of Fiona’s farm. But the weather doesn’t cooperate, and as Fiona and Alec wait for it to clear, they are drawn together by mutual loss, longing, and the miracle of love at midlife.
On the day he finally reaches the summit, Alec is caught in a vicious hailstorm. As he struggles to descend, he stumbles upon the body of a man he recognizes from a photograph at the farm: it is Fiona’s ailing and reclusive husband, David, and he is close to death.
Will North’s debut novel, The Long Walk Home, is a story about grief and hope, about love and loss, and about two people struggling with the agonizing complexities of fidelity—to a spouse, to a moral code, to each other, and to a passion neither thought would ever appear again. By turns lyrical and gripping, set amid a landscape of breathtaking beauty and unpredictable danger, this is a story you will not soon forget.
About the Author
Will North is the award-winning ghostwriter of half a dozen nonfiction books. He divides his time between Seattle and Great Britain. This is his first novel.
I don't have too much to say about this book. It started off a bit like something Rosamunde Pilcher might write, but wound up more like Nicholas Sparks does The Bridges of Madison County. That said, I enjoyed it (in spite of the moral dilemmas and somewhat stilted dialogue) and look forward to North's next novel. Oh, and what a great cover! I'd love to have a print of that hanging in my office! Better yet, I'd love to live in Wales in that house!