Book review: The Long Journey Home

By Cecily Blench

Synopsis: It's 1941 and Kate is living in Rangoon, Burma, a world away from her traditional English upbringing. When she meets Edwin, a young teacher from London, she senses that he too is looking for a place to call home, and soon a friendship develops between them.

As their bond grows, Kate begins to learn of the secrets in Edwin's past and the tragic events that brought them both to Burma. But war is coming and, when the Japanese forces invade, Kate and Edwin are forced to flee, along with thousands of others. They begin a perilous journey to India but soon become separated. As Kate continues on alone, she can't get this troubled young man out of her head.

With the fallout of war all around them, in a place far from home, will Kate and Edwin survive their journey and find the new beginning they both seek?

How did this book end up in my hands? I requested access to this book on Netgalley and the publisher granted my wish. Yay!

Was it a page-turner? It was, 100%. The alternating storylines following Kate and Edwin were both truly engaging. Every time the point of view shifted, I missed the other, and then again, and again and again. In addition to catching up with one character or the other, the perilous nature of their journey added speed to my reading experience. I just needed to know they’d both be fine at the end. But that’s for you to find out…

Did the book meet my expectations? Anything that mentions India, even vaguely, draws my attention so this is how I got attracted to the book in the first place. Other than expecting some descriptions of India, I didn’t know where the book would lead me. Wow. This is the story of an epic journey. The characters are beautifully alive, the locations so craftily described that I felt like I was there, and the emotions… oh, the emotions. My heart was all over the place. This is a magnificent, well-researched novel.

Three words to describe it. Evocative. Epic. Sad.

Do I like the cover? I do. It is a beautiful image and I love the colours.

Have I read any other books by the same author? This is the author’s debut novel and I would definitely be happy to read what she writes next.

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