- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 39 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 11, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XSCR9Q7
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Long Black Veil: A Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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Jennifer Finney Boylan: Long Black VeilBy hmills96 Book, Diversity, Fiction, Lady Authors, LGBTQA Authors/Characters, Mystery/Thriller, Read When Safe 0 Comments
Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2017
For fans of Donna Tartt and Megan Abbott, a novel about a woman whose family and identity are threatened by the secrets of her past, from the New York Times bestselling author of She’s Not There
On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in–and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them–celebrity chef Jon Casey– with murder. Only Casey’s old friend Judith Carrigan can testify to his innocence.
But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?
Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.
I’ve had Jennifer Finney Boylan’s memoir on my TBR for awhile now, and just haven’t gotten to it. I didn’t realize she also had fiction out, so when Long Black Veil came available I jumped on it. You don’t see very many books by trans authors coming from the big publishing houses, so I was definitely excited to read this.
I was a little apprehensive of the plot, however…it sounded pretty dubious. And while I’ll always encourage you to read OwnVoices fiction, I’m afraid that if you aren’t into mysteries, you probably won’t like this one. I won’t go so far as to call it a thriller, but it’s at least a whodunit style plot, with multiple POVs–although only one first-person narrator.
Long Black Veil kept my attention, but I won’t go so far as to say I loved it. It was a little bit melodramatic at times, and I think the cheating husband kind of sent it over the top. I didn’t really see the point of that side line. I still want to read her memoirs, but I may not try out anymore fiction by Jennifer Finney Boylan.
I don’t do a lot of research before I read a recommended book. For the most part, I look at its genre, the back cover blurb, and its general rating. I don’t read other reviews until after I complete the book. By doing this, I avoid pre-conceived notions of a story’s characters. With that in mind, there are details of this book I will not discuss. Some of this is due to a desire to keep this spoiler free. Others are not my story to tell. These facts help to define Judith as a character, but they do not exonerate her.
A dark past isn’t uncommon. For Judith, there are skeletons in her closet capable of destroying her entire life. She can either sacrifice what she has built and save an innocent man or let things unfold. It is this latter option that she leans toward and, as a result, she strikes me as being nearly as selfish as Flynn’s Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. I have mixed feelings about Long Black Veil because of this. Part of me wants to comfort Judith while another part of me wishes to throttle her.
Despite centering around Judith instead of the decades old mystery than haunts her, Boylan excels at creating an intriguing narrative. It’s the passion with which she writes Judy that warms my heart to her, that provides me with the ability to feel even a modicum of sympathy for her struggles. Like all of us, Judy has a right to happiness. Boylan pens Judith beautifully as she reaches for that penultimate feeling that eludes many of us.
In stark contrast to my complaint regarding the story centering around Judith, Boylan somehow manages to give readers too many insights into this unraveling mystery. The story beings with six characters. Seven, to be technical. Throughout its pages, we end up with no less than six different perspectives. This makes it a difficult to follow at times, especially in regards to Judith’s memories. (Again, this is a detail you will discover by reading the book, so I will not divulge it.)
Boylan succeeds, despite the plethora of perspectives, at keeping the story moving along. The further in you read, the more twists you encounter – some of which threw me off entirely. While this is not one of my favorite titles and likely will not merit a re-read, it was not unpleasant.
I would like to thank Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy of this book for the purpose of unbiased review.
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The first few chapters of Long Black Veil really drew me in.Read more