Long Bright River by Liz Moore | Book Review

Hi everyone. I’m rincey and this is
rincey reads. Today I’m going to be doing a book review on long bright river by
Liz Moore. This is one of my most anticipated books of the year.
I read the unseen world by Liz Moore in 2016, I want to say, and I adore that
book so much. And I was so excited when I found out that Liz Moore was coming out
with another book. And Riverhead very kindly reached out to me and offered to
send me a copy of the book because I had raved so much about how much I loved the
unseen world. So yes, I’m very excited for this book, but like I am with every novel
that comes out from an author — I’m all — that I love, I’m also like kind of
hesitant about it because you know I love the unseen world so much and what
if this one doesn’t live up to the hype? For me it lived up to the hype. So this is
mostly like a contemporary fiction, literary fiction book but it has a
mystery element to it as well. You are following the story of these two sisters
Mickey and Kasey but the entire book is told from the point of view of Mickey.
Growing up, their mother died of a drug overdose and their father left them and
they were raised by their grandmother, their mother’s mom. And then Kasey
ends up getting addicted to drugs as well but Mickey kind of takes another
path and ends up becoming a police officer. And so Mickey actually is like a
beat cop walking the streets of the neighborhood where Kasey lives. But the
two of them have a strained relationship and like barely even talked to each
other anymore. So Mickey is working this neighborhood
that is filled with people who are suffering from drug abuse. So a lot of
them are in like the midsts of like opioid addictions and things like that.
And so she is used to seeing like people overdosing and people, you know, dying on
her beat and things like that. So one day she’s walking the streets and she comes —
and she gets a report for there’s a body found and assuming that it’s going
to be someone who has overdosed. But when they get to the body, she realizes that
it’s actually someone who looks like they’ve been strangled. And after a while
it looks like there are multiple women who are being found who have died. And
around the same time that this starts happening, Kasey actually goes missing. And so now Mickey is really worried about her
sister and worried that she, her sister could be of a victim
of this person who is killing all of these women in this neighborhood,
especially women who are extremely vulnerable and addicted to drugs and
willing to do a lot of things that other people wouldn’t. And so the story is told
in kind of two timelines. It’s marked as like ‘now’ and ‘then’. And so you get to see
what it was like for Kasey and Mickey growing up and things that they’ve been
through as well as what is happening currently with this serial killer type
of situation, as well as Mickey like looking for her sister and stuff like
that. So like I said at the top of the video, I really loved this book a whole
lot. This is a slightly thicker book. It’s over 400 pages. So not like super long
but on the longer end for like contemporary fiction, and I flew through
this as much as you can fly through a 400 ish page book. I think I read it
over the course of three days and it only took me that long mostly because I
didn’t have time to read it more often than I wanted to. As soon as I started
reading this book, I was immediately pulled into this world and the story and
these characters. Towards the like the last stretch of me reading this book, I
like sat in place for like two and a half hours, and I was so still that my
Fitbit thought I fell asleep. So I think that’s a pretty good testament to how
much I was engaged with this book. There’s something about the way that
Liz Moore writes that just like really works for my brain. Like I immediately
fall in love with her stories and fall into her stories and immediately like
connect with her characters. This is a book that is filled with morally gray
characters and characters who make a lot of really poor choices and things like
that. But it’s also full of so much heart and it’s a story exploring
complicated families and complicated family relationships. um The story is set
in Philadelphia in an actual neighborhood that is dealing with like
the opioid crisis and things like that. And so Liz Moore has done her research
into the things that are going on right now in these neighborhoods and stuff
like that and incorporated that into the story so seamlessly. And also like done
research on the opioid crisis right now in the United States and like
incorporated that into the story in a really beautiful way. I think that this
is like a perfect book for people who enjoy novels by Tana French or Jane Harper. These mystery books that have more of a
character center to them. This is not a fast paced book by any means but it is
extremely engaging in my opinion. This book is very different from the unseen
world. So if you are someone who read the unseen world, it’s not quite like that.
It’s significantly darker. It feels more real, maybe because it’s set in modern
day and dealing with things like the opioid crisis whereas the unseen world
feels kind of more timeless. But they also have some similarities in that they
are dealing with complicated families or complicated family relationships and
secrets and things like that. But this one definitely leans more on the mystery
side of things than on the contemporary fiction side of things, I would say. So
yeah, if you’re someone who read the unseen world and really enjoyed it, I
definitely would recommend picking up Long Bright River as well. Or if you’ve
never read anything by Liz Moore, this is a great place to start with her and then
you can go ahead and enjoy the other books in her back catalogue. I rated this
book a 4 out of 5 stars and it wasn’t quite a perfect book to me. There was
part of me that did debate about giving it five stars but in the end I couldn’t
really do it because there are certain character choices that are made in this
book that, while I understand why they were made, just didn’t feel very
realistic to me. Mickey as a character is very naive. And it’s very possible for
someone to be that naive, I recognize that, but she’s a police officer who’s
probably in her like late 20s, early 30s, I would guess, and there’s a lot of
things that like get revealed over the course of this story that I was just
like, “yeah, I kind of assumed that from the beginning.” But apparently they were
supposed to be kind of like big reveals and it didn’t really feel like big
reveals to me because to me they felt obvious. But apparently to Mickey, they
weren’t. And she also talks about that a little bit in the story, which I guess
kind of helps make it more realistic. Mickey herself talks about how naive she
is in certain situations and with certain people, that she doesn’t always
realize what’s actually going on or she’s like really trusting of other
people’s opinions when she really shouldn’t be and she should be more
skeptical. But it’s kind of just like minor nitpicks that I had with this book.
Overall I just loved it so, so much. There’s also another character in here
who is like Mickey’s landlord I suppose you could say,
who I adored. I would read an entire book from her perspective. So, Liz Moore,
if you’re watching this if you write that book, I’ll read it. But yeah, this was
a great read and a great start to my 2020 reading. Although technically it’s
the second book I finished in 2020, it’s the first one that I started and also
finished in 2020. And so hopefully that will set the tone for the rest of my
reading. Cause if I every book I read this year I love even like a fraction of how much I love this book, it will be a good
reading year. So that is everything I have for you guys this week. Let me know
down in the comments below whether or not you’ve read long bright river or any
other Liz Moore books and what your thoughts were on them. Or if you have any
questions about the book, feel free to leave that down in the comment section
as well. Or if you read this book in the future, definitely feel free to come back
and talk to me about it cause I love getting those comments later on once you
guys have read the book. So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks for watching.

10 thoughts on “Long Bright River by Liz Moore | Book Review

  1. I love that your Fitbit thought you were asleep, that is a testament to how hooked on the story you were! I loved this one too, picked it up as soon as Kendra told me I need to 🥰 Great review, Rincey 😊

  2. My Fitbit recently thought I was sleeping while I watched a couple episodes of Succession. I immediately thought of your anecdote from Instagram about you reading this book. I just finished it too and felt very similarly. It was so much about the sisters and their relationship that at times I could almost forget there was even a serial killer plot happening in the background. I thought they were both very well-drawn characters, and finding out about their past was so compelling and satisfyingly twisty. I also thought the atmosphere of Philadelphia really jumped off the page and painted a vivid portrait of the neighborhoods, even though I've never been there.

  3. I too absolutely loved The Unseen World & have been anticipating this book for months! I am so happy to hear from you that it lived up to the hype. I’m SO excited to read this! ✨Thank you for your review. 💕

  4. This book was so good. I zipped through it –

    My only complaint is the unnecessary amount of blank pages and blank page space. This could have been about 25-30 pages shorter … stupid gripe – but just no need to waste that much paper.

  5. I also loved The Unseen World. My copy will be delivered tomorrow. Can't wait! Thanks for the review!

  6. FYI Liz Moore also wrote another novel called Heft that came out a few years before The Unseen World. I adored Heft just as much as The Unseen World. Very different from each other but just as well written and a beautiful story. Definitely check it out.

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