Charles Martin has taken a parable of Jesus – the Prodigal Son, recast it and brought it into the twenty first century in a gripping and passionate work of fiction Long Way Gone. (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
Centered around the life and choices of musically talented Cooper O’Connor, Long Way Gone brings up and out the realities, values, and importance of family, especially the relationship between a father and a son. It is a story which many readers, especially men, can and will resonate with.
In a fit of impatience and anger Cooper, raised by a dad who was a travelling revival preacher, finally decides that the siren song of fame and fortune is calling him to greater things than singing and playing with his dad. So, after a dramatic exit during one of his father’s services, Cooper heads to Nashville with the hopes of becoming famous but those are dashed when he loses everything he owns.
Eventually meeting an up and coming music star, Daley Cross, Cooper’s life turns in a direction in which fame and fortune finally come to him only to be lost in a fire during an attempt to get back a priceless guitar at the home of Daley’s producer. A fire which does not take his life but takes away his ability to life the life he had.
Eventually returning to Colorado, Cooper faces the biggest challenge of his life when many years later Daley shows up and he reveals the truth about what really happened the night of the fire even as his health unravels because of the fire.
This is a novel ideal for men. It is a novel for music lovers as Martin writes in detail about guitars and the Nashville music industry. It is a novel for those who wonder if they can home and make things right.
The answer is , “Yes but perhaps not in the way one would hope.”
I loved this novel. It deals with the relationship that sons have with their dads and the choices they make which affect their lives and the lives of others. It is novel about grace, forgiveness, hope, love, and faith.
I gave Long Way Gone a five-star rating on Goodreads.
Note: I received an advance reader copy of this book from the folks at Smith Publicity in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.