So if you read these reviews with the diligence that I hope my blog inspires in you then you’ll be familiar with this introduction, but I include it just so you are all aware. Anyway, this review is part of a blog tour for Rachel’s Random Resources. This isn’t the first time I’ve been involved in a blog tour either and if you want to read some other examples then you can do just that by clicking here, here, here, here, here and here. Anyway, even though this is part of an official blog tour you can still expect the same honest, unbiased and fair content that I aim to provide on all the content on this site.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to the next part of this review, where I tell you a little about the author. G.D. Harper attended Glasgow University in between 1975 and 1978, and lived in the West End of Glasgow. A fact which has informed his writing, in particular this book which is set during that period. If you would like to find out a little more about the author then check out his website, and make sure and support him by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
Next, a little bit about the book itself, before we move onto the actual review, Love’s Long Road is set in 1970’s Glasgow, which is particularly cool as I don’t get to read a lot of home grown content. It follows Bobby Sinclair who following a traumatic incident straddles the line between good and bad, light and dark, and safety and danger, spiralling all the while into the seedy underbelly of ‘Glesga’.
Now, onto the actual review, as I mentioned up top I liked that this was set in Glasgow, even so called ‘Tartan Noir’ usually ends up being set in Edinburgh which might be the capital of Scotland but isn’t as populated as Glasgow. In fact, I think the last book/series I remember reading that was set in Glasgow was the Garnethill series by Denise Mina (and if you’re interested I was lucky enough to get an Interview with her). Anyway, having a book set basically just up the road is always an interesting aspect for a story, and because it’s local and familiar I feel like you can connect with it and pick up what feels real and genuine because it’s part of real life for you. So I was excited to read this once I heard about the distinctly Scottish backdrop, especially since it was set in the 70’s which gives me an insight into Scotland before I was born, to a cultural and historical period that wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things but still feels like a whole world away in terms of what people were going through.
Anyway, aside from the unique insight into Glasgow in an era before I was alive, it also showed a nuanced portrayal of a person (Bobby Sinclair) dealing with the suicide of her boyfriend, and struggling with their sense of self, dealing with complicated feelings of guilt and shame that is to be expected when someone close to you takes their own life. But as well as that, in dealing with it she makes decisions that are self-destructive but understandable and human. Honestly I could talk at length about how real the story is, how one decision, one event can send a shockwave out that shakes a person to their core. In this case it took a promising young woman and led her on a path of desires and mistakes, but at her heart you still get the sense that she’s a good person, just trying to make her way in a world that isn’t always fair or easy.
I don’t tend to read this type of book, I’m pretty much just thrillers and crime fiction but I picked this one because I liked the sound of it, and because I want to explore as much and promote as much as possible on this site. However even though this is not perhaps my usual go to it was a riveting story, that was richly detailed and engaging and frankly well worth a read. I think I’ll give it a 4/5 and if you want to grab a copy for yourself then you can by heading on over to Amazon.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/