LONG WAY GONE is the story of a son and his father living in Colorado. Cooper, or 'Peg', as he's known to people close to him, is the son of a tent preacher who travels to spread the word of God. They live a simple and even prosperous life and as Peg grows older, his musical gifts become very apparent. Peg's father is very protective of him and of the path he wants his son to follow. As a teenager Peg begins to feel oppressed by his father and leaves abruptly to realize his own dreams. He travels to Nashville and soon finds out that dreams don't happen over night. He is totally on his own without the support or guidance of his father. This is a simple yet very moving story of family, loyalty, faith and devotion.
Charles Martin is an author I've been wanting to read, but just never got around to it. I picked up a Kindle copy of this book as a Daily Deal not too long ago and figured it was the perfect opportunity. I've been hearing about his eloquent writing for some time. It didn't take long once I started reading to notice his beautiful prose and it just pulled me in. Much of this book reads like a memoir which gives details about the characters and where they've been in their lives, and even the community they live in in Colorado. It's a beautifully written story with a simplicity to it, making it endearing to this reader. It is totally Peg's point of view and you know right away he's a good guy.
Since Peg's dad is a preacher, faith plays a big part in this book and I was a little surprised when a figure appeared in the story that was never named but was understood that he represented Jesus. He appears in different forms and it raised the story to another level for me and I liked that it was not over-the-top. The message from this story is that you can always go home, no matter how far you stray, making the title of this book perfect.
Peg is a musician, so there's a lot about music and his love for it in the book. Guitars in particular have a starring role. As a lover of music and the guitar, this fed right into my interests and didn't bother me at all. But I can see where too much detail about guitars and their individual sounds could become tedious for some readers and they may skim over those parts. I, myself, am not a skim-reader, so I soaked up all of that information.
The bottom line is that I really enjoyed this book and I flew through it rather quickly. Like I mentioned earlier, it was beautifully written and I'm sure the story will stay with me for some time. Charles Martin is an author I will definitely read again and one I will recommend to my fellow readers.
LONG WAY GONE
Author: Charles Martin
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Sold By: HarperCollins Publishing
Published: October 2016
Length: 296 pp