*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to Piers Le Moignan and the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Simon, a successful accountant, has a big problem. The biggest of them all. He checks himself into Orchard Care Home whilst still relatively healthy, the youngest resident by decades. He’s confident he cut all ties with the outside world and is untraceable.
Emma, married with no kids, lives, breathes and manages Orchard Care Home; a position her husband, Michael, used to hold in the good old days. But now he’s soared up the company hierarchy she sees so much less of him.
The attraction between carer and resident is instant, but ultimately destined for catastrophe. Alzheimer’s takes no prisoners and Early Onset, it’s most tragic form, is the cruellest of all.
How can Michael feel threatened by Simon? And what future could Emma have with him?
Simon understands less and less, but knows he has to try and run away from time – to somehow beat the ceaseless clock.
A powerful new novel by Anthony Le Moignan that will make you laugh and cry, for fans of Jojo Moyes, Emma Healey and Nicholas Sparks.
No blurb can really do this book justice!
A Long Goodbye is a deeply emotional exploration of love, loss and caring that left me completely drained, but in a good way.
Le Moignan avoids the trap of introducing too many characters and keeps the focus tightly on a core few (Emma, Simon, Michael), with a handful of peripheral side characters (most notably Julie and Maddie). The reader gets to know these few characters intimately and they feel utterly real: not ‘baddies’ or ‘goodies’ but authentic complex people with their own motivations and justifications.
Perhaps excepting Simon, who is an angel through and through!
It was obvious from the overall theme of the book that this was going to be a tragic love story. Le Moignan’s portrayal of Early Onset Alzheimers is heartbreakingly honest; raw but sensitive. Simon’s decline is almost unbearable to watch, but it is his approach to his illness, and life in general, that won my heart and had me sticking by him to the last page.
Not to say that the whole story was doom and gloom! This is a romance, after all, so we see a fair helping of coincidental meetings, communication mix-ups and comical misunderstandings. Plus the upbeat attitudes of the main characters really help to keep the pace lively and leaven the greyer moments.
Whilst Simon’s story arc was somewhat predictable given his circumstances, those of Emma and Michael took some totally unexpected turns, and I really enjoyed how the characters had the capacity to surprise me right to the finish. Especially at the finish!
A Long Goodbye is a deeply moving story of love, not just between a man and a woman, but between friends, lovers, parent and child. Love that transcends illness, memory and painful experiences. I highly recommend this book, but please make sure you stock up on tissues and have some hugs on standby (pet, partner or just a favourite teddy).
The consensus was that his illness would grant him between three and twenty years from the first symptoms. He’d already had a good five of those since first noticing people staring in an unfamiliar way, wondering why he’d repeated himself or didn’t know their names. His last relationship had ended after forgotten dates and ‘being weird‘.
He’d assume there were five years left, the latter half veering towards an unacceptable standard of life. For the moment, he was still healthy in his body, if not in his mind. He intended to keep that level of fitness up for as long as possible.
– Anthony Le Moignan, A Long Goodbye
You can find more from Anthony Le Moignan at his website here or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.
A Long Goodbye is available on Amazon right now!
One thought on “A Long Goodbye – Anthony Le Moignan”