Review #18 | Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan


31214015.jpgRead: May 11 – 12 | Rating: ★★★☆☆½

Trigger Warning: Suicide, Transphobia, Fat Shaming, and mention of sexual abuse. Hints at a women being drugged and raped.

Long Black Veil is the story of Judith Carrigan, whose past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death.

The only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.

My Thoughts:

♡ I had no idea what to expect going into this, I just read the last page not even five minutes ago and I’m kind of blown away. This might be a novel that I will be thinking about for days to come and then realizing how much it affected me. Maybe, I don’t know.

♡ A lot was happening all at once in the beginning, I honestly almost put this down to pick up something else, I’m glad I didn’t. Sure, there are a lot of characters and you’re kind of thrown into a story you know little to nothing about but it was worth it. Everything gets explained and once that happens, you’re hooked. The story was gripping and fascinating.

♡ The characters in Long Black Veil are the one’s you love to hate. They’re all problematic at one time or another but they each have their own redeeming qualities throughout the story. I’m trying my best not to write spoilers if you can’t already tell. I am sad to let these characters go.

♡ I’m usually one to focus on the positive in my reviews, not the negative and this review will be no different. Check out my trigger warnings above and my negative thoughts toward with book are related to those plot points, if you even want to call them that. Some had no reason to be in the story itself, it didn’t ruther the plot as far I can tell.

♡ How the story was told was something I really enjoyed. We follow multiple characters perspective through their lives, during their time in the prison and later in their life, most of them in their 50s. Which is an age I’ve never read a POV in, so that was interesting.

♡ The character development in this novel is phenomenal. We get to see how every character carries their grief and the weight of their past differently.

♡ Close to the end, about the last 100 pages, I felt myself getting confused again. We were switching POV like crazy, so much was happening, I couldn’t keep track of who was talking unless it was stated, and I found myself rereading the same paragraph over and over just to figure it out. I could also blame my lack of sleep for this but oh well.

♡ Thankfully, I loved the ending. Everything was ended nicely, so loose ends like most thrillers I have read. I loved where we left every character and I wish them all the best. (Yes, I know they’re fictional but I care, A LOT)



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