Long Bright River is a stunner. There’s no other way to put it. Liz Moore crafts a slow-burn of an intergenerational novel set in the opioid ravaged streets of Philadelphia.
Police officer Mickey walks her beat in Kensington, watching the ladies work the streets and fearing for the well-being of her estranged sister, Kacey. As Mickey investigates a murder, she enlists the help of a detective with whom she was once romantically involved and angers the higher-ups at her precinct.
When Mickey reaches out to her grandmother and other family members in an attempt to locate Kacey, she begins to fear the worst. Will she be able to find her sister before it’s too late?
This book absolutely floored me. I felt the color drain from my face a few times while reading it, and could not tear my eyes away from the page.
Long Bright River made me homesick for my beloved Philly, and I could picture the streets in the neighborhoods that Liz Moore describes in such loving detail. While she set the book in real places, and the book was devastatingly sad, she wrote the story in a way that is a tribute to both the city and its inhabitants.
At turns a thriller and a quiet, painful examination of addiction (to drugs, to work, to control, to drama) — Moore’s story examines a family turned inside out and a society that’s benefited by abuse.
“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one…” ~Khalil Gibran
Long Bright River is available on Bookshop.