Gone Too Long

Dutton. Jun. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9781524741969. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524741976. sUsPeNSE
OrangeReviewStarTen-year-old Beth knows she shouldn't sneak out of the house, but she wants to hide the Ku Klux Klan flyer that was thrown from a pickup truck. Then, Beth disappears. Seven years later, Imogene Coulter is back at the church where the funeral was held for her son and husband. Now, the town of Simmonsville, GA, mourns the death of Imogene's father, the local Klan leader. Imogene never wanted anything to do with the man, but she honors one request from her mother. When she enters the house close to their property, she finds a young boy locked in the basement. She rescues him just before the house catches fire, and Klan members descend on the family home. After years of mourning her own loss, she has a young boy to comfort while trying to uncover secrets her family and the Klan would prefer to bury. In alternating voices, Beth and Imogene tell their stories of abuse and horror, while Imogene's father-in-law, a former Klansman, warns that people have "gone too long" without paying attention.
VERDICT This compelling, issue-oriented story by Edgar Award-winning author Roy (Bent Road) is a creepy, eerie account of a young girl and a community held hostage by the Klan. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/18.]

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