The Long Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper, It’s the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes wilt under the California sun.
At some point during the long, long afternoon Joyce Haney, a seemingly happy housewife and mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind only two terrified young children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor.
With the stifling heat of Tangerine and the gripping pace of Little Deaths, The Long, Long Afternoon is at once a page-turning mystery and an intoxicating vision of the ways in which women everywhere are diminished, silenced and, ultimately, underestimated.
What a read! Gripping, emotive and full of powerful thoughts; impossible to put down.
I’ll admit that I was attracted to this book for the cover, it intrigued me… a nice kitchen with some blood on the floor, what happened? Are the owners ok? Who would want to harm them?
Everything will start in 1959, one afternoon in Sunnylakes, this peaceful neighborhood will change forever after the disappearance of one of their residents; a wife, a mother, a friend. The problem is that this neighborhood is like a wasp’s nest, everyone has secrets and is ready to do anything to hide them. That’s why the case will not only be investigated by a detective but the maid of the house, a young black intelligent woman that wants to go to college and have a future.
The story is told between these 3 characters; the detective, Mick, Joyce and Ruby, telling us the views of each character and their thoughts. This book is not easy to read, sometimes it made me want to shout or cry for how some of the characters are treated; the daily disrespect of being black or the ignorance of being a woman… But it’s eye opening on how women, even if they know they are being ignored have their own small battles everyday, small wins that make their lives a little bit easy and less angry with the world.
I will not talk of how angry it made me read how the black people are treated, disrespected and used; even if we have progressed a little in the racism issue, it’s still there and sometimes I wonder if we make enough to change it.
This had been a surprising read, slowly burning and impossible to stop reading.
Ready for “The Long Long Afternoon”?
About The Author
Inga is a journalist and author of crime fiction. She has an MSc in climate change management and, in my day job, specialize in science journalism with a focus on EU policy, as well as writing about climate change, energy and the Global South.
She am a member of the National Union of Journalists, the Association of British Science Writers and the Society of Authors. Inga run the West London Writers, a lively and welcoming fiction writing group in Ealing.
When she is not writing she likes to walk, knit and drink copious amounts of tea with sage and honey.