Karen McQuestion is the author of A Scattered Life, which I reviewed several months back. I think I'd have to say I didn't like this one quite as much- but that's less a criticism of this book and more a continued gushing for her first.
In The Long Way Home, four women become unlikely travel companions, drawn together by grief and a common need for change in their lives. Each woman is feeling stuck in her own way. Marnie's long time boyfriend has died suddenly, resulting in the even deeper loss of the boy she raised for the last decade. Rita is learning to cope with the death of her daughter and the injustice of her unsolved murder. Laverne is settling into her widowhood and becoming depressed and agoraphobic. Jazzy, the young free-spirit who feels compelled to help them, is also struggling to find her own path.
The story is told in alternating third person narratives and each woman's voice is distinct and powerful. As they drive from Wisconsin to Las Vegas, so Marnie can see her step-son, they face challenges that help them to become the women they need to be. Even though much of what they're dealing with seems like such dark territory, McQuestion manages to pull off a light-hearted romp.
The Long Way Home is about the bonds between women, the power of friendship, and the potential to grow as a person- at any age.