A Long Goodbye
by Anthony Le Moignan
Simon, a successful accountant, has a big problem. The biggest of them all. He checks himself into Orchard Care Home whilst still relatively healthy, the youngest resident by decades. He’s confident he cut all ties with the outside world and is untraceable.
Emma, married with no kids, lives, breathes and manages Orchard Care Home; a position her husband, Michael, used to hold in the good old days. But now he’s soared up the company hierarchy she sees so much less of him.
The attraction between carer and resident is instant, but ultimately destined for catastrophe. Alzheimer’s takes no prisoners and Early Onset, it’s most tragic form, is the cruellest of all.
How can Michael feel threatened by Simon? And what future could Emma have with him?
Simon understands less and less, but knows he has to try and run away from time – to somehow beat the ceaseless clock.
I got in touch with Anthony Le Moignan on Twitter, who kindly sent me his new book to read. When I found out that the story was described as similar to “Me Before You” and “Elizabeth is Missing“, I knew this book was going to be my kind of thing.
“A Long Goodbye” tells the story of 40 year old Simon Carter, a successful accountant with early onset Alzheimer’s. While he’s still able to make his own decisions, he’s sold his house and business to move into a care home. Orchard Care Home is full of people 30-40 years older than him, but he soon finds that he only has eyes for carer Emma.
What unfolds is a story of tragedy, comedy and romance. Each character has their own unique personality; from beautiful, caring Emma to money grabbing ex Victoria Orpington-Wells. It’s clear that the author has a lot of passion for them all and the dialogue between them feels real; he understands the workings of a care home and the people within it.
Simon himself is an interesting character. On first sight, you wouldn’t know that he was unwell; he’s fit and attractive. He’s a multimillionaire, but you probably wouldn’t realise that either, and he’s a keen runner. He runs and runs and runs, running a 6 mile route twice a day trying to meet a PB of 40 minutes aged 40.
Despite being a little too soppy for my tastes, I enjoyed this story and looked forward to picking it up again on my commute. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close to it and a very impressive first novel indeed.
“One of the carers had suggested he download [his books] onto an electronic book, but he loathed that method of reading. He’d had enough staring at screens when working to last him a lifetime.”
Overall rating: It’s clear that this book has been written from the heart. Recommended for lovers of contemporary romance, it’s 4 stars for “A Long Goodbye” and I wish Anthony Le Moignan all the best with this and future novels.
Check out his website here: anthonylemoignan.com