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I'll never be long gone
Thomas Christopher Greene
Adult Fiction GREENE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The rugged, rain-lashed landscape of Eden, Vt., becomes a palpably biblical backdrop for a moving generational tale in Greene's second novel (after Mirror Lake). The Bender brothers Charlie, 18, and Owen, 17 find their lives reshaped by the will of their formidable late father. To Charlie goes the family restaurant, Charlotte's; to Owen goes $10,000 and a directive to find himself. Greene flashes to years when Charles Sr. pitted son against son in Iron Chef-like matches picking his successor, it's now clear. Charles's will also bequeaths his wife the freedom to return to city life, which she promptly does. Working himself to the bone in the kitchen, Charlie seeks an assistant chef, and Owen's high school girlfriend, Claire Apple, resurfaces with impeccable timing, having acquired both beauty and culinary savvy in her time away from Eden. The two fall in love, marry and have a son, Jonah, setting the stage for a smoldering Cain-and-Abel conflict when Owen returns after years of adventures. Greene's evocative descriptions of nature, food and love infuse this novel with sensuality and a nostalgia-tinged melancholy. And if Greene's reach for scriptural allegory feels presumptive, the book is redeemed by its careful consideration of the burden, and blessing, of legacy. Agent, Nick Ellison. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In his second novel, Greene (Mirror Lake) returns to Eden, VT, this time exploring what family means and to what extent kinship aids in survival. Eighteen-year-old Charlie and 17-year-old Owen have grown up in the kitchen of their family restaurant. When their father commits suicide, Charlie inherits the eatery while Owen gets $10,000. The brothers had been best friends until their father, as controlling in death as he was in his kitchen, tears them apart with the reading of his last wishes. Owen uses his inheritance to leave Eden and spends the next 17 years in the U.S. Merchant Marines, during which Charlie makes a nice life for himself, improving the already stellar reputation of the restaurant; marrying Owen's old girlfriend, who shares his passion for food; and fathering a son. When Owen finally returns, will the small town of Eden be big enough for the three of them, or will some family relationships have to be severed permanently? Though the food descriptions are mouth-watering, Greene doesn't break any new ground here; the book is a pleasant enough read, but by no means essential. Recommended for larger popular fiction collections, particularly in the Northeast.-Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technical and Community Coll. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Charlie Bender
Male
Married
Father leaves him the family restaurant; hard-worker; misses his estranged brother; marries his brother's old high school girlfriend.
Chef

Owen Bender
Male
Charlie's brother; father leaves him money and an order to find himself; goes away for a couple of years; when he returns he finds his old girlfriend married to his brother; jealous of the life he could have had.



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