5 star reviews, Book reviews, contemporary fiction, thriller

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!

Rating: ALL THE STARS!!

I am sure that you are aware that people are becoming addicted to opioids at an alarming rate.  When I was in high school, marijuana and maybe shrooms or acid were a big deal, now it’s heroin, oxycontin and other opioids.  I read this as part of a Buddy Read and most people either knew someone or knew of someone who has struggled with this. I know three people who have struggled, one of whom died of an overdose.  

This book is told from the perspective of single mom and cop, Mickey, who grew up in a rough, working class Philly neighborhood, raised by her grandmother because her parents were addicts.  Now her younger sister is an addict, working the streets to get her next fix. The story alternates between present day and Mickey and her sister, Kacey’s childhood, their relationship and closeness as children.  There is a murder mystery but that feels like a secondary plotline, the main plotline is loving someone who is an opiod addict, living on the street and toeing that hard line between tough love and having your heart ripped out on a daily basis.  This book shows the pain of loving an addict, wanting the best for them, being embarrassed of them, hating what they are doing to themselves but loving them because you know that deep down they are wounded deeply by life.  

This is the kind of book that makes you want to do something to help.  After reading the book, I looked up photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge that Liz Moore mentions in her book and found photographs of Kensington, where the book takes place.  Mr. Stockbridge has a book of photographs and also a documentary series on youtube. I highly suggest checking out the photos and documentary. 

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