Take the Long Way Home by Rochelle Alers

October 25th, 2023 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 6 Comments

25th Oct

Sophia Rose is here with a historical fiction you won’t want to miss. Take the Long Way Home by Rochelle Alers tells the tale of a fascinating and well-traveled woman. Grab a cup of pumpkin spice tea and check out her thoughts…..

Take the Long Way Home by Rochelle Alers
Take the Long Way Home
by Rochelle Alers
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

n an arrestingly vivid novel spanning seven decades and two continents – from a cloistered 1950s Mississippi town founded by freed slaves to the striking diversity of Paris and Rome in the 1960s and 70s, through the glamor of 1980s Wall Street, to present day New York – bestselling author Rochelle Alers chronicles one woman’s remarkable journey through some of history’s most turbulent eras—and the four men who impact her life along the way. Perfect for fans of Angela Flournoy, Zora Neale Hurston, Sue Monk Kidd and Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

Freedom fighter, brilliant businessperson, devoted wife, master of languages, and ultimately, savior of a European dynasty. Claudia Patterson would become all of these—spurred on by the fiercely powerful loves and losses along the way…

Denny Clark. An abused thirteen-year-old white boy whose life twelve-year-old Claudia saves—complicating her own life for years to come.

Robert Moore. A young Black lawyer who becomes Claudia’s beloved husband and partner on the explosive front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. Amid the violence of the Ku Klux Klan, Claudia has a shocking personal encounter—with unimaginable consequences.

Ashley Booth. A Wall Street executive who brings the glamour of New York alive for the now-widowed Claudia, introducing her to an elite circle of Black peers. But their long yet uncommitted romance leads Claudia to move on—to an overseas assignment at an Italian bank.

Giancarlo Pasquale Fortenza. An Italian automobile industrialist, once enamored of a young Claudia—handsome, worldly, and twelve years her senior. A man with whom Claudia reconnects, bringing her life full circle in the boldest, bravest, and most unexpected ways…

Rich with history and timeless emotion, here is an epic tale of rising through poverty, racism, and heartbreak—and the awesome role of our most significant relationships throughout our lives.

Sophia Rose’s Review

From a prolific and talented romance and women’s fiction author, I was excited to see Rochelle Alers had written a historical fiction about a fascinating and well-traveled woman.  A long saga of Claudia’s life as told in the fateful encounters she has with certain men that lead her on a lifelong journey of the heart and mind.

I’ve read a few of Rochelle Alers small town romances over the years and enjoyed the warmth and heartwarming quality she gives to a story through the main characters’ romance and the always present surround of family, found-family, and friends.  This had me very curious to see what she could do with an expansive decades-long story of one woman.  I was a bit wary knowing how I shrink from books that really hit me hard in the heart because I suspected Claudia’s story was not going to be an easy one and that became apparent in the opening chapters.  The young guy she helped save turned around to become a Ku Klux Klan member later making it imperative that Claudia get away from her home in Mississippi.  I was drawn into that small town of Freedom Mississippi and the south of the turbulent sixties.  Claudia’s family especially her grandmother captured me early on.

Each man who comes into her life is a section of the book and, I’m a sucker for when author’s do this, there are pertinent quotes that head each chapter related to what is to come next in Claudia’s story.  Though the men of these men makes it seem like the impetus of the story is on the men shaping Claudia.  That is a partial truth.  Claudia is a strong woman who learns from life and lives it on her own turns.  She marries a man she loves and they share a yearning to be part of righting the wrongs of racial inequality, but he dies too soon.  She has already lived in France, learns about loving from a Frenchman and also met an older man who knows she’s too young so he moved out of her life.  In New York she meets another fascinating wealthy man and learns about business and finances.  Her life journey brings her to Italy and she encounters that older man once again, but this time she not an inexperienced young girl so life gives them a second chance. 

Rochelle Alers painted the historical backdrop including society and culture of each time period so vividly that history came to life through Claudia’s life and experiences.  I loved that there was plenty of page time so she could expand and touch on so much of life’s ups, downs, lessons, and love. I did feel the page count a few times when I was antsy to see what was to come next for her while hoping it would turn out well.

My review copy ended just shy of the story’s finish at ch 43 so I’ll have to get ahold of the finished copy after the release to feel fully satisfied.  However, a goodly portion of Claudia’s life was told so I feel comfortable rating it knowing how much I already appreciated and felt satisfaction for the author’s dive into historical fiction.  Definitely one I can recommend who want a fascinating woman’s life story at the center of their historical fiction.


Take the Long Way Home by Rochelle Alers delivered a fascinating woman’s life story at the center of their historical fiction. #bookreview #SophiaRose Click To Tweet

About Rochelle Alers

Published since 1988, today a full-time writer, has been hailed by readers and booksellers alike as one of today's most prolific and popular African-American authors of romance and women's fiction. With more than fifty titles and nearly two million copies of her novels in print, she is a regular on the Waldenbooks, Borders and Essence bestseller lists, regularly chosen by Black Expressions Book Club, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gold Pen Award, the Emma Award, Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award. She also wrote as Susan James and Rena McLeary.

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About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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6 Responses to “Take the Long Way Home by Rochelle Alers”

  1. Katherine

    What a gorgeous cover. I have several books by this author but haven’t read any of them yet. This sounds wonderful and I like that it’s not set in the 1940s. I love the time period but it’s nice to see something a little different!

    • Sophia Rose

      I’ve enjoyed a handful of her small town contemporaries, but loved trying my first historical women’s fiction. Yeah, getting the decades after the WWII period was an interesting time period for the story.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yeah, that was a first for me, too. I was reading along and then it just stopped. I went back on the site and it said in the blurb that it was a sample, but I’m pretty sure the note wasn’t there when I first picked it because I wouldn’t have requested a sample.
      But, yes, it was a fabulous story and I’ll get to that finish eventually. It left off with a spot where I was pretty sure what was going to happen and would end in a way I would like.

  2. Tonnie TBJR

    Another author that I like to read. I do love her small town romance because of the family, found-family aspects. You feel like your coming home. I am looking forward to experiencing what she has to show me on a multi year, cross country, cross ocean journey of one woman. Thank you for you insight.