I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for a book that I know will stay with me for a long time to come. The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper is a brilliantly written and thought provoking read that I would highly recommend.
Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this unforgettable book.
About the book:
The sunniest places hold the darkest secrets . . .
A stunning 1950s set debut mystery brimming with atmosphere and perfect for fans of Tangerine, Small Pleasures and Mad Men.
Yesterday, I kissed my husband for the last time . . .
It’s the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long, long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor.
While the Haney’s neighbours get busy organising search parties, it is Ruby Wright, the family’s ‘help’, who may hold the key to this unsettling mystery. Ruby knows more about the secrets behind Sunnylakes’ starched curtains than anyone, and it isn’t long before the detective in charge of the case wants her help. But what might it cost her to get involved? In these long hot summer afternoons, simmering with lies, mistrust and prejudice, it could only take one spark for this whole ‘perfect’ world to set alight . . .
A beguiling, deeply atmospheric debut novel from the cracked heart of the American Dream, The Long, Long Afternoon is at once a page-turning mystery and an intoxicating vision of the ways in which women everywhere are diminished, silenced and ultimately under-estimated.
About the author:
Inga Vesper is a journalist and editor. She moved to the UK from Germany to work as a carer, before the urge to write and explore brought her to journalism. As a reporter, she covered the coroner’s court and was able to observe how family, neighbours and police react to a suspicious death.
She holds a MSc in Climate Change Management from Birkbeck College. Inga has worked and lived in Syria and Tanzania, but always returned to London, because there’s no better place to find a good story than the top deck of a bus.
Yesterday, I kissed my husband for the last time…
And just like that, from the very first sentence, I was hooked. The Long, Long Afternoon is the stunning debut novel by journalist and editor Inga Vesper. It is a beautifully written and atmospheric read that I know will stay with me for a long time to come.
It’s the long, hot summer of 1959 in the curtain twitching neighbourhood of Sunnylakes in California. Wife and mother Joyce Haney vanishes in the middle of the day, leaving two distressed young children and a blood spattered kitchen in her wake. Arriving to discover the two children on their own, Ruby, the family’s ‘help’, raises the alarm only to find herself arrested on the spot. Why, you may ask, would the young woman be arrested? The truth is a stark and uncomfortable one. This is 1950’s America, a time of mistrust and prejudice, and Ruby is a black woman who has inadvertently stumbled upon the scene of a crime in which a middle class white woman has disappeared. And that alone is enough for her to be arrested.
What follows is an atmospheric and darkly unsettling mystery that instantly transports you to 1950’s America, the oppressive heat and small town mentality all adding to the claustrophobic feel of the story. Mick, the detective put in charge of the case, believes Ruby may hold the key to what happened to Joyce and wants her to help him get to the bottom of the mysterious disappearance. But at what cost to Ruby? With the constant undercurrent of racial tension, the blistering heat and a mystery to solve, could the whole case be about to go up in flames?
The Long, Long Afternoon is an incredible debut that crackles with heat and intensity as the truth of what happened is slowly revealed. Inga Vesper has written a thought provoking and often uncomfortable story, but one that needed to be told. Her writing is stunning, the sense of time and place so palpable I could almost feel the hot sun on my face as the story unfolded.
A beautifully told tale that I honestly can’t recommend highly enough, The Long, Long Afternoon is a stunning debut that I will never forget.
The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
Check out what these other fabulous bloggers have to say about this book: