If You Walk Long Enough; Nancy Hartney

Book tours and the virtual shelves of NetGalley and Edelweiss cover a sizeable chunk of my reviewer life. The rest of my TBR list, however, is made of requests. I receive an average of three/four of them per week, and I tend to say yes to everyone.

… My TBR pile stretches well into July ‘22, just so you know XD feel free to contact me, as I don’t do DNF, but be prepared to wait for a little while.

If You Walk Long Enough, a novel written by Nancy Hartney, belongs to the requests category.

**

Returning from Vietnam to the family’s Carolina tobacco farm two Marines find a place that isn’t home anymore. Surrounded by political upheaval, southern prejudices, violence, and soul-deep loss and moral fatigue, they must grapple with respect, reconciliation, love–and letting go. But, then, there are the ghosts …

Historical fiction
284 pages
Wild Roses Press
Goodreads

**

Cover: Clean and elegant, I like it.

Yay!

  • If You Walk Long Enough is the story of Reid, a veteran who just came home from Vietnam; it’s the story of Eleanor, who married Reid before his deployment and has a secret she’s not ready to share; it’s the story of Joe, of Angela, of Diana, and Linh. Intersecting lives, each of them carrying a different burden. Given the context, If You Walk Long Enough should be a heavy novel – and in a way, it is. On the other hand, Hartney is able to handle it in a delicate, respectful manner. 
  • Multiple POVs aren’t something I’m a fan of; it’s harder to deal with a single POV, and that’s when the author’s skills really shine through. On occasion, though, they shine all the same via multiple POVs. Every character here adds something to the storyline, like jigsaw pieces slotting together to compose a picture. While my favorite is Reid, If You Walk Long Enough wouldn’t have been the same without Joe’s chapters, for example. His perspective proves to be fundamental to the story, enriching Reid’s growth as a person and defining Joe’s life.  
  • Reid suffers from PTSD, and again, the theme is handled with respect. Well done – it’s obvious how much time and care went into researching that topic.
  • Hartney has a good writing style, enjoyable and easy to read. 

Nay!

  • The temporal jumps hinder the flow. I’ll admit I have a soft spot for linear storylines, but I’m not averse to non-linear; the main issue here has to do with the length of the chapters. They’re too short to support a non-linear storyline.

TL;DR

4 stars on GR.

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