The lives of brothers Charlie and Owen Bender are changed forever on the night their father walks into the Vermont woods with a death wish and a shotgun. The second shock comes when his suicide note bequeaths the family's restaurant to Charlie alone, while leaving Owen with instructions to follow his own path, wherever it may take him.
Years later, the restaurant is a success. The void in Charlie's life, created by his beloved brother's absence, is finally filled when a passionate affair becomes a deeply satisfying marriage. And now prodigal son Owen is returning home, to be welcomed back into the family fold. But the cruel legacy that tore a brotherhood apart created wounds not easily healed . . . and there must be reckoning.
Thomas Christopher Greene
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I bought this book after reading a glowing review in the LA Times. After reading it, I believe the reviewer wrote his review using the jacket of the book because both state that this book is a story of love, loss, betrayal, etc.
It's not. This book is a romance - and not a very good one. It starts out when the father dies and leaves his home and restaurant to one son - the other son gets only a little money - so he takes off.
So the son who is left loves to cook and does well with the restaurant. He is lonely though and has never had a girlfriend unlike the brother who left who did really well with the ladies. So the brother's old girlfriend becomes a chef too and applies for a job and he falls in love with her. Of course he can't tell her because he is too shy so he is extra harsh on her instead. Predictably, they finally get together and then suddenly, he is transformed into the perfect mate. He can sense without her saying a word her every mood and need - this...
I'll Never Be Long Gone is Greene's second novel after the subtle and excellent Mirror Lake. I'll Never Be Long Gone is a gem of a book and Greene manages to seamlessly balance an intriguing story of familial bonds and betrayal with fluid and beautifully cadenced prose. Comparisons to books like Plainsong or Peace Like a River are well deserved. While the subject matter of Greene's novel differs his story does share the same sensibilities and he succeeds in creating the same depth in his characters. Greene is also a master of smaller moments, those scenes or passages that build the characters without ever seeming anecdotal. There are numerous paragraphs that beg to be read over and over for their skill and fluidity. The restaurant /culinary dimension of the novel radiates throughout, anchors it to some extent but never takes the edge off of this powerful and biblical tale. Greene has delivered on the promise of Mirror Lake and leaves me wondering what he'll do next. Whatever it is,...
Mr. Greene's second novel shares many similarities with his first effort. His writing is poetic and compelling and his themes of love, betrayal, and understanding resonate throughout. This time around, Greene has created a wonderfully believeable setting in a samll restaurant where much of the drama occurs. He achieves a great deal through his dramatic descriptions of setting, and his cooking scenes literally made my mouth water. He describes the ruggedness and beauty of the Vermont landscape like few before him. I enjoyed this novel and look forward to more work from this gifted young novelist.
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