Long After We Are Gone
by Terah Shelton Harris
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Pub Date 14 May 2024 | Archive Date 25 May 2024
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, Sourcebooks Landmark
An explosive and emotional story of four siblings—each fighting their own personal battle—who return home in the wake of their father's death in order to save their family's home from being sold out from under them, from the author of One Summer in Savannah.
"Don't let the white man take the house."
These are the last words King Solomon says to his son before he dies. Now all four Solomon siblings must return to North Carolina to save the Kingdom, their ancestral home and 200 acres of land, from a development company, who has their sights set on turning the valuable waterfront property into a luxury resort.
While fighting to save the Kingdom, the siblings must also save themselves from the secrets they've been holding onto. Junior, the oldest son and married to his wife for 11 years, is secretly in love with another man. Second son, Mance, can't control his temper, which has landed him in prison more than once. CeCe, the oldest daughter and a lawyer in New York City, has embezzled thousands of dollars from her firm's clients. Youngest daughter, Tokey, wonders why she doesn't seem to fit into this family, which has left an aching hole in her heart that she tries to fill in harmful ways. As the Solomons come together to fight for the Kingdom, each of their façades begins to crumble and collide in unexpected ways.
Told in alternating viewpoints, Long After We Are Gone is a searing portrait on the power of family and letting go of things that no longer serve you, exploring the burden of familial expectations, the detriment of miscommunication, and the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 54 members
I really enjoy the way Terah crafts her characters and stories. They are complex but draw me in. Long After We Are Gone explores one of my favorite genres - family relationships, lies, secrets, difficult situations... this was so well done. Five stars. I will probably read it again for a buddy book read. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
This book was absolutely phenomenal!! I adored the characters, the story, the back and forth. It was romantic, heartbreaking, beautiful! I loved the way the author told this story and the lessons I learned along the way.
"While we are influenced by our parents and the ones who come before us, we are ultimately responsible for the people we become." - Tera Shelton Harris
this was such a beautiful and devastating read. it centers around the responsibilities, weights, and complications that come with family, love, loss, and grief. four siblings try to navigate their personal problems and the consequences of poor choices while dealing the aftermath of their father's passing. each sibling has their own heavy complexities and have to come together after years of not being under the same roof. each sibling goes through a difficult journey of self-realization and acceptance of who they are, while also coming together to break intergenerational trauma.
Ellis was the most well-rounded character in this entire book. he's that sound of reason and anchor for the siblings. i think this book and its characters would have taken a different turn without him. but something he says to CeCe resonated with me in ways i cannot put into words:
"You accept what you've done. You sit with it and in it. You live with it, all the pain, all the hurt, all the guilt. Until it's done with you. Until you are done with it. You survive it."
i loved this book. it is so well-written that i felt like i was watching a movie play out. every character was relatable in so many ways that i couldn't help but feel for them... like i wanted to reach into the pages and hug them or yell at them or help guide them, but despite their flaws... you loved them.
this will be such a great book for book clubs or buddy reading, more so if you read it with a sibling or family member. it will open up so many important conversations. i have no doubts it will be something i will look back to in the future, because it holds so many beautiful and important messages.
thank you to NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. i received this book as an ARC and leave this review voluntarily.
"Don't let the white man take the house."
They are King's words before he dies, leaving four siblings to fight off a bank claiming they own part of the nearly 200 acres of land in North Carolina. This is not the first book I have read that address heir land ownership this year, it's a hot topic when speaking about African Americans in terms of equity, reparations and our sordid American history. When a person dies without a will, the ownership of land and objects move on to the heirs. This can create a large-scale problem if two brothers, for instance, marry and have children (who have children) creating more and more heirs. It is fairly easy for a large wealthy person/company to seduce one of the heirs into selling their portion which can lead to what can only be compared to as a hostile takeover.
In Long After We Are Gone we watch as siblings scamper to address this takeover of their land following the death of their beloved Patriarch. It's an amazing story on it's own, but Shelton Harris adds 4 incredibly interesting characters for us to follow - There is Junior, the oldest and secretly in love with another man. Mance, who fights his own temper and loses frequently, CeCe, the first daughter who has backed herself into a corner in her work in NYC and Tokey a woman who has succumbed to her own demons and overeats excessively. The four unlikely heroes are brought together and forced to face their childhood, their current obstacles and make peace with each other. I was enthralled by this story and am still thinking about it days after. Shelton Harris has an amazing talent of putting you in the place, and you should grab this book!
#sourcebooks #sourcebookslandmark #longafterwearegone #terahsheltonharris
Long After We Are Gone was such a beautifully written book with deeply flawed characters. I cannot do the book justice by just saying it was good. It was magnificent. But it was also so very, very hard to read. I’m glad there was an Author’s Note that provided trigger warnings. Even though I’m not someone who needs the warnings, parts of the book were still so hard for me to read. I loved how we were able to get the POVs of the 4 siblings. These POVs were necessary to being able to understand why they were the way they were, and why they made the decisions they made. There were difficulties in reading each of siblings’ stories. CeCe was extremely narcissistic and dramatic; Junior was living for others and didn’t love himself; Mance had clear anger issues; and Tokey felt unloved and worthless. Tokey was the hardest character for me to read. I have never read a story of someone who had an eating disorder or was an overeater. I was uncomfortable with the parts where she gorged herself.
In my opinion, the siblings were terrible people who were so deeply flawed and self-centered that they didn't think of anyone but themselves. The only redeemable character in the book was Ellis. Ellis loved the entire Solomon family like is own and was more loyal to their father and the land than any of the siblings.
Overall, the storyline flowed very well, and each sibling got an equal amount of time in the book. I’m glad that there wasn’t a perfect ending, and it ended as it should have.
Lies, secrets, sex, violence, addiction, and betrayal have estranged the Solomon siblings from each other and the people who love them the most. Each one has to come to terms with the messes they’ve made as they try to reconnect as a family in an attempt to save their legacy. I was a big fan of One Summer in Savannah and am in awe of how easily Harris juggles multiple POVs and creates living, breathing characters that you don’t know whether to hug or shake. The drama in this book chewed up my Kindle battery and kept me up late reading in the dark. Don’t miss it.