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The Long Way Home Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 30, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, March 30, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Claire Barclay’s widowed mother marries Leo Harrison and they move to an estate in Alloa, Scotland, Claire’s only friend is Jonas, who lives on the estate’s rundown farm. The pair is inseparable until the night she decides to confess her love, and he says he wants nothing to do with her. Shocked and devastated, Claire takes time to travel rather than start university right away. Whe she meets Art Barrington in New York, loves blossoms between them. Years later, she returns to Alloa when her mother dies, and she finds Leo suffering from dementia. Because the house means so much to Claire, Art conceives the notion of turning it into a conference center, but they aren’t the only ones interested in the house. Jonas, who has made his fortune, has also been running Leo’s life, leaving Claire to question his motivations. Pilcher weaves a wonderful story filled with love, deceit, and friendship that is reminiscent of his mother Rosamunde’s work. --Patty Engelmann

Review

"Pilcher weaves a wonderful story filled with love, deceit, and friendship that is reminiscent of his mother Rosamunde’s work."--Booklist

"An agreeable tale of friendship—broken and mended—set in the Scottish countryside."--Kirkus Reviews

"Pilcher's sweet story of a past reconciled is warm and touching."--RT Book Reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312354355
  • ASIN: B0048EL8BO
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,673,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A young girl's painful first love and the unresolved feelings of the relationship are the crux of this novel, which moves from West Sussex in 1980 to Alloa, Scotland and New York. When Claire Barclay's widowed mother meets and marries the kind, gentle Leo Harrison, fifteen years her senior, mother and daughter move to Leo's rambling home in Scotland, a place Claire grows to love. Although she is never accepted by her jealous step-siblings, Charity and Marcus, Claire basks in Leo's generous affection, the only flaw in her world the abrupt and inexplicable ending to her close friendship (on the cusp of romance) with Jonas Fairweather, whose father works on Leo's estate.

Claire learns to put heartbreak behind, albeit unresolved, until her mixed emotions resurface years later after her mother's unexpected death and Leo's failing health. Suddenly Claire is back in Scotland with her husband and small daughter, faced with a confusing set of circumstances and a scheme that may threaten Leo's future security. Until old issues are put to rest and new troubles confronted, Claire's peace of mind remains elusive. At the heart of the novel is the unresolved breakup between Claire and Jonas, made more difficult by the uncertainty of Leo's future, the elderly man caught between his step daughter and his adult children, who have ideas of their own.

This novel might have more impact were the characters and their conflicts less superficial and formulaic. But it is hard to credit a young woman's loss of first love and the rancor still carried towards her by Marcus and Charity, let alone Fairweather's prominence in the story. The plot remains mired in petty, if expensive grievances. Pilcher does capture Claire's idyllic childhood in Scotland and writes with flair of the details of place. Yet the conflict at the heart of the story is less than satisfactory, the characters not quite memorable. Luan Gaines/2010.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Robin Pilcher and couldn't wait to get his latest book. I was put off at first by the way he shifts back and forth to various years, and found I had to keep checking back to see what year I was reading about. Did he think the plot wouldn't stand if he wrote chronologically? I also got impatient in the middle and cheated to see the ending. And then I got engrossed again and read every word.

I don't want to give away the plot, so let me say that what I especially liked about this book is that it is a man writing about relationships, not just romantic ones, but family and more. However, he also brings in subjects most female authors don't, such as business and finance, so his plots gets involved and interesting. In the end I found the plot and the characters believable.

If you are a Pilcher fan, either of Robin or his mother, do buy this book! But if you are just being introduced to this author, I recommend that you start with one of his earlier books.

Note that this book is being simultaneously published in the UK under a different title. So don't buy another book of Pilcher's with the characters Claire, Violet, Leo, Jonas, Art.
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Format: Hardcover
When Claire's mother marries again, they move from their home in Sussex to stepfather Leo's large house in Scotland. Here 10 year old Claire meets 11 year old Jonas, whose father rents a farm on Leo's property. Claire and Jonas form a bond which lasts all through their teenage years until suddenly, without any explanation, Jonas distances himself from Claire and never talks to her again.

Postponing university, Claire decides to do a bit of travelling and after some time in Australia ends up in New York where she marries Art and together the two of them build up a successful restaurant business.

The sudden death of Claire's mother Daphne and the declining health of Leo bring Claire back to Scotland - and Jonas. Claire loves her stepfather and wants him to keep on living in his beloved home, well taken care of. Trying to help Leo, can she, however, put her trust in the man who broke her heart so many years ago and whom she has never completely forgotten?

The book is light and easy reading. But in spite of clever - although a bit stereotype - characterization, the story did not quite manage to grap my attention. It's flawed by too many platitudes, especially in the dialogue. The love story between Claire and Jonas does not convince. Instead of getting caught up and curious, I became impatient, skipped pages and took a peek at the end ...

What saves the book, is Claire's stepfather Leo. With his big heart and lots of personality, his beloved garden and rows and rows of exotic plants in his greenhouses, he makes a brilliant character beautifully drawn.

All in all "The long way home" is a disappointment compared with Robin Pilcher's previous work. A lightweight saved by dear, unforgettable Leo.
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Format: Paperback
I was looking for a romantic novel to get lost in during a recent trip which involved several long lay overs in airports. This book did that for me, but I don't think the author was up to his usual high standards. The story is a little far-fetched and the characters don't really endear themselves to you, except for old Leo, maybe. There is a lot of bouncing back and forth between time and places. Fortunately, the beginning of each chapter is clearly markeed with date and place, so if you put the book down for a few days and get lost, it's easy to get reoriented again. The basic story line is that Claire's widowed mother marries an older man, Leo, who has a wonderful old mansion in Scotland. They move there when Claire is about ten. Leo's children hate Claire and try to make her life miserable whenever they are around, so she becomes close friends with the farmer tenant's son. They remain very close until suddenly, when Claire is seventeen, he breaks off their relationship with no explanation. She had been in love with him and was heartbroken, so she moved away and went on with her life. Many years later when she is married with her own child, Leo needs her help. She returns to face her old friend and her wicked step-siblings.
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