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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Reznik's debut novel, a woman confronts long-buried secrets when an old college friend commits suicide. . . . While effective as a page turner, the novel also tells a timeless, universal tale of a woman's journey toward self-acceptance. An exciting tale of past crimes and dangerous friendships." --Kirkus Reviews

Laila Levin is an I.T. executive in Austin, TX, with a happy marriage and a successful career. But her life is about to get much more complicated. Laila is forced to confront a dark part of her past that she never shared with her husband. . . . Readers, particularly those who remember the late 1960's, will find this an entertaining read."
 --Publishers Weekly


★★★★★ "I love a mystery and I love stories about the late 60's/early 70's and this book has both! Really fun read."  --Barbara Gaines, Executive Producer, The Late Show with David Letterman 


★★★★★ It's one of those books that takes two different time periods in a women's life and as the story unfolds weaves them together gradually in a very clever way.  Reznik uses a great technique going back and forth constantly building suspense along the way. ... As someone who is selective about what I read, this book didn't disappoint. Great mystery and suspense. Add a star if you were a " flower child " from the sixties. -- Les Goodstein,  Former President and COO of the New York Daily News

From the Author

This book is dedicated to all baby boomers who survived the 60's and 70's, as well as those who didn't. Hope you enjoy the ride. --Lara
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Violet Crown Publishers (September 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938749030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938749032
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (302 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,910,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lara Reznik, a native New Yorker, escaped to New Mexico in the 1970s in a Karmann Ghia that she jump-started cross-country. As an English major at the University of New Mexico, Lara studied under esteemed authors Rudolfo Anaya and the late Tony Hillerman. She also attended a summer program at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop.

Ambidextrous from birth, Lara preferred her right-brained creative side, but discovered she could make a better living with her left-brain skills, so entered the I.T. field in 1985.

Since Lara published her first novel, The Girl From Long Guyland, in November 2012, she retired from her day job as an I.T. Manager. In addition to her novels, Lara has written and optioned three screenplays that have garnered semifinalist and finalist wins in the Austin Heart of Film, Southwest Writers, TV Writer, and Writer's Digest contests. Currently, Lara lives with her husband and two mini Australian Shepherds in Austin, TX, and is busy at work on a new novel, The M&M Boys due out in March 2014.

Lara would love to hear from you at larareznik23@gmail.com or on her author page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LARAREZNIK23. Or visit her website at www.larareznik.com

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By ARC on October 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I just finished Reznik's "The Girl from Long Guyland." I took it with me for a long weekend away and found that I read it for several hours at a time until I finished it late into the night. It rings true from this Baby Boomer's perspective, having grown up in a place that sounds a lot like West Meadow. The book captures the flavor and culture of the late sixties to help us understand how even nice kids could get caught up in things that were way over their heads. While Laila is trying to emancipate/separate from her family and childhood self, she finds herself vulnerable to amoral, narcissistic people who disguise themselves as cool, hip activists. These self serving character types also show up in her present life. As the stories of past and present are interwoven, some dangerous secrets threaten to destoy everything that she has built. Reading this book is like going on a wild, scary, funny, roller coaster adventure which accelerates in intensity until reaching the inevitable confrontation of Laila's past and present lives. I highly recommend taking the ride!
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By W.H. McIntosh on September 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
. . . from your past, that is.

Laila Levin exists in a comfortable world of the present with a successful career, a loving husband, a son with the opportunity to attend Stanford, a house on the lake, and a Jack Russell Terrier who adores her. In other words, life is most excellent.

Then a short, cryptic note left behind after the suicide of her college roommate threatens to unravel all the threads of the current life she holds so dear. Laila must face the ugly consequences of a past in which the compulsion to belong shoved aside common sense and good judgment.

What do you do when the sordid mistakes of a previous lifestyle come calling, especially when they contain a dark secret better left veiled by the passage of time? Enter the world of Laila Levin and experience the fear and apprehension of being relentlessly stalked by your previous self.

They say you can never go back again, but that's not true of fiction. Reznik skillfully juxtaposes chapters in current story time with back story. Her use of present and past tense heightens the effect of the two narratives and smooths the transitions.

This is a compelling story very well told.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Jones on September 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
THE GIRL FROM LONG GUYLAND is a good read, and kept me wondering what was going to happen next, as something dark from Laila's secret past is about to catch up with her. I lost patience with young Laila at times, but her actions are motivated from the get-go: a lonely girl looking for personal identity and a place to belong. No doubt she is in over her head when she gets involved with the "family," a group of unscrupulous townies who deal drugs to the rich kids attending the local University. The characters, including the '70s era itself, are well drawn, distinct and believable. In short, I was impressed with this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By SM on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Couldn't put it down. What a tale! It kinda reminds me of the long-forgotten baby boomer days. Loved the masterful dialogue and structure of book; it read very easily. I highly recommend to anyone who likes a great mystery with complex characters.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Singer on September 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
What happens when a BIG secret from your past suddenly appears to threaten your present?
Laila Levin leaves her family on Long Guyland for college during the late sixties. She struggles to fit in as she marvels at the feel-good hippie lifestyle of the times. But college life is not all about smoking pot and going to parties and this naive girl from the suburbs gets in over her head.
Years later, Laila's comfortable life and career are turned upside down when decisions from the past come back to haunt her.
Great characters. A page-turner!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By NM Rich on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I started the reading "The Girl From Long Island" when I had a couple of hours to kill but ended up staying up until 2:00 am and then couldn't wait to get back to it the next day. I finished it in less than 24 hours and really enjoyed it. I went to Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy on Long Island from 1967 to 1971 and was transported back to that time. The characters could have been the people around me and they did the kind of stupid things we did. I was both empathetic and sympathetic with their struggles.
The sexual awakening, of a naïve girl from the suburbs of Long Island, during the height of the hippy era is so believable and as a naïve boy from New Mexico I can vouch for its accuracy. They were fun and scary times and if you lived through it you were the wiser for it.
The author clearly has spent time both on Long Island and in New Mexico. The book brings these locations to life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Walker on November 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A page turner, especially if you're interested in early 1970s drug running and coming of age stories. I happen to enjoy both, so this was a fun read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Gaines on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love a mystery and I love stories about the late 60's/early 70's and this book has both! We were all so young back then and thought we could handle the "sex, drugs and rock and roll". I loved reading about Laila's relationship with her parents and loved trying to figure out what happened in her past that was so bad. Really fun read.
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