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The Long Road Home by @daniellesteel

By Pamelascott

From her secret perch atthe top of the stairs, Gabriella Harrison watches the guests arrive at herparents' lavish Manhattan town house. At seven, she knows she is an intruder inher parents' life. Later, hiding in a closet, the click, click, click of hermother's high heels will strike terror in her heart. Gabriella believes, as she is told, that she is to blame for her mother's rage - and her father's failureto protect her.

The Long Road Home by @daniellesteel

When her parents' marriage collapses, Gabriella is given her first reprieve, as her father disappears, and then her mother abandons her to a convent. There, Gabriella's battered body and soul begin to mend. Amid the quiet safety and hushed rituals of the nuns, Gabriella grows into womanhood in a safe, peaceful world.

Then a young priest comes into her life. Father Joe Connors never questioned his vocation until Gabriella entered the confessional and shared her soul. Confession leads to friendship. And friendship grows dangerously into love. Like Gabriella, Joe is haunted by the pain of his childhood consumed by guilt over a family tragedy, for which he blames himself. With Gabriella, Joe takes the first steps toward healing. But their relationship leads to disaster as Joe must choose between the priesthood and Gabriella, and life in the real world where he fears he does not belong, and cannot cope.

Exiled and disgraced, and nearly destroyed, Gabriella struggles to survive on her own in New York. There she seeks healing and escape through her writing again, this time as an adult, and her life as a writer begins.

But just when she thinksshe is beyond hurt, Gabriella is once again betrayed by someone she trusts.Brought to the edge of despair, physically attacked beyond recognition andbelief, haunted by abuse in her present and her past, she nonetheless managesto find hope again, and the courage to face the past. On a pilgrimage destinedto bring her face-to-face with those who sought to destroy her in her earlylife, she finds forgiveness.

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[A CLOCK TICKED LOUDLY in the hall as GabriellaHarrisons stood silently in the utter darkness of the closet]

(RandomHouse Large Print Publishing, 2 May 2005, first published 1 January 1998, hardback,576 pages, bought from a charity shop, Popsugar Reading Challenge, a bestsellerfrom the year you graduated high school)

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The Long Road Home is more enjoyable than I expected. I wasn't enjoyingthe book at first. I thought the violence Gabrielle's mother showed towards herwas so extreme it was ridiculous. It was too much at times. Instead ofdeveloping sympathy towards Gabrielle it just put me off reading the book. I didn'thave any sympathy at all. But then, she's abandoned in the convent. I startedto enjoy the book once her comic monster of a ridiculous mother was out of thepicture. The Long Road Home is hear-breaking at times, the kind of bookthat can hard to be read because it's too intense and emotional. Gabrielle is agreat character; her strength in spite of the shitty hand life keeps dealingher is impressive. I really enjoyed the book in the end but the violence at thestart tainted it a bit for me.

Long Road Home @daniellesteel

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