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Book Review : The Long Way Home 🌴

The Long Way Home. Book Three in the Island Secrets Series.

Today’s review is the third in the Island Secrets Series, The Long Way Home, written by Fran Clark. The previous two, Holding Paradise and A Prayer for Junie, were both as good as each other. I loved the characters and how their separate lives connected. Now, with book three, I was eager to find out if I would enjoy this one as much.


Fran Clark writes Women’s Fiction, both contemporary and historical. Her first novel was published by Indigo Dreams in 2014. In the same year she achieved a Distinction in her Creative Writing MA from Brunel University. In 2016, she was shortlisted for the SI Leeds Literary Prize. In February 2024, her Island Secrets Book Series will be published, starting with Holding Paradise Book 1.

Originally from London, Fran moved to the English countryside with her musician husband. A musician herself, Fran teaches vocals and leads a local choir. She has two sons.

Fran also writes under the pseudonym, Rosa Temple, writing contemporary fiction and published by HQ Digital and Simon & Schuster UK.

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An unexpected meeting sets Rose on a path to love and future happiness.

When family secrets and even the forces of nature stack against her, the way to a happy-ever-after slips away.

On the West Indian island of Dominica in 1889, Rose was abandoned by her father, Antoine, on the day she was born, after her mother, Nanette, died in childbirth. Rose’s mixed heritage makes her an outcast to both of her parents’ families, and she grows up with an adoptive family without a true sense of her identity.

When Rose turns sixteen, she meets the poor but charismatic sailor Raphael and a romantic connection blooms, only to be put on hold because of a tremendous hurricane.

Employed by wealthy widow, Elise La Fleur, Rose develops a close friendship with her. But when Elise accuses Rose of stealing her beloved locket, Rose’s world is thrown into disarray.

Can the locket be the key that unlocks her past and the secrets of her birth?

Start reading this captivating historical fiction of race, forbidden love and identity today.


The Long Way Home tells two stories, and I love how they become subtly entwined. The first is about Antoine and Nannette, set in 1889 on an island in Dominica. Theirs is a forbidden love and one which is tested to the limit. Then, set sixteen years later, there’s Rose’s story. A young woman who falls for Raphael, a charming, penniless sailor. Yet, there is more to Rose’s story, which is not revealed until much further into the book. I loved the sweeping landscape and the relationships, secrets and mysteries - the timing of each revelation was perfect, not too rushed and not too slow, just enough to keep the reader engaged. As with the previous books in the Island Secrets Series - Holding Paradise and A Prayer for Junie - this was a book I instantly became immersed in. I cared about the characters, their feelings, how they would tackle the challenges they faced, and what would happen next. Thank you, Fran, for gifting me a digital copy of The Long Way Home in exchange for my honest review. I look forward to reading the next and final book in the series – When Skies Are Grey.


Story and Structure by Leon Conrad.

This is a change from what I usually read and review. Story and Structure by Leon Conrad delves into a topic I’m obsessed with—writing fiction.

“Story and Structure tells the untold story of how story works. Using just six primary symbols, author Leon Conrad outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all optimally solve the problems which give rise to them. The book also demonstrates the much wider application of story, presenting new insights into story as a dynamic force of life, allowing the reader to access more harmony and flow in their life. Writers, storytellers, creative writing teachers, folklorists, narrative therapists, anthropologists, poets, and readers interested in how story works will all find this book useful and informative. Rethink your idea of story.”

I’ll be back on 17th June with my review of Leon’s Story and Structure, A Complete Guide. Until then, HaPpy Reading!

Gill x

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