Romance stories tend to have two central characters--usually hero and heroine--and the talek follows their trials and tribulations before finding true love. The Long Way Home is a romance story but rather uneven in that we learn a great deal about the heroine, Ellie Chapman, but very little about the hero, Cameron OíConnor.
Perhaps itís because Ellie has a
more interesting back story than Cameron. Sheís the daughter of a wealthy
investment manager who turns out to be running a massive Ponzi scheme. When it all falls down around them, Ellieís father
goes to prison, her fiancť is implicated, and her friends disappear--apart from the wonderful Carly, whom we meet several times in the story. Ellie needs to get away from publicity and decides itís time to go and look at her inheritance from her mother: a house in St Dennis, Maryland. She has to live there for six months as part of the terms of her motherís will.
Then she can sell it and maybe move on with her life.
Only St Dennis is much more than simply a collection of bricks and mortar that Ellie now owns. It has a whole raft of people who knew her mother and who want to befriend
Ellie, despite not knowing who she is. Ellie is taken in by the charm of the place and the people, but
she is afraid that people will blame her for her fatherís misdeeds. Can Cameron see through the headlines to the woman beneath?
Although I enjoyed reading this book, I found its focus on Ellie a bit annoying at times, particularly as I didnít agree with her secretive nature. The people she meets seem amazingly friendly considering
that sheís pretty brusque with them. Cameron is a rather indistinct hero; we never really understood why he fell for Ellie.
At the end of the book, however, Ellie redeems herself massively by a selfless action. I liked her much more then.
As a romance, this story lacks a romantic aspect powerful enough to carry the story.
As a tale of a woman coming to terms with a significant personal reversal and learning the power of friendship and kindness,
though, it works well.