Long Man by Amy Greene, while fictional, is based on a real life historical event that took place in the summer of 1936 and it is a moving and emotional tale sure to please readers. I loved each and every minute of this book and was lucky enough to listen to the audio version which is narrated by Dale Dickey. I’ve not listened to her before but I wouldn’t hesitate to again. Her voice had me completely mesmerized throughout as she brought the lives and troubles of the people living within the pages of Long Man to life.
Long Man transports us back in time to a family and the town of Yuneetah in turmoil as The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to damn the Long Man river and flood the area destroying many people’s homes and lives in the process. All to bring electricity and jobs to a community that seems content the way they are despite their struggles.
One such resident is Annie Clyde Dodson and she refuses to leave her home and land even though the majority of the town has already cleared out. She literally only has days before her land will be flooded. Annie Clyde wants to hold onto her land as a legacy for her three year old daughter Gracie. Generations of Annie Clyde’s family have lived and worked this land and she wants Gracie to have a piece of that history. Annie Clyde’s husband wants to move and has a job lined up. He wants to support his family and give them and Gracie a better future. Needless to say Annie Clyde wants none of it and it’s causing a rift between the two of them.
In all the craziness going on around them, including a drifter coming into town, nobody notices at first when little Gracie turns up missing. Despite volunteers coming in from surrounding towns they can’t find her and Annie Clyde is beyond panic. Gracie is her world – her father’s too. So what happened? Is she just hiding? Is the drifter involved? With the bad storm raging did she fall and drown in the river?
Long Man is a rich and beautifully told novel that ultimately leaves us appreciating what is important in life. It came alive so vividly in my mind I thought I may have been there in the fields searching for Gracie, feeling the desperation and fear flowing from Annie Clyde. Truly talented authors take their readers on a journey they don’t soon forget. Amy Greene does that with Long Man.
Highly recommended – especially the audio version!
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.