So Long As We're Together

About ambition and the price of fame and the ties that bind (and sometimes strangle us), it’s also a fierce, frank portrayal of the ways we love one another–how we succeed and sometimes, how we fail.

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Available book editions

This book is also available in eBook format from these sites.

  • Language ▸ English
  • Pages ▸ 247 Page
  • Editions ▸ eBook, Paperback
  • ISBN ▸ 1644371359
  • Amazon ASIN ▸ B07W7LH3QN
  • Published ▸ September 7, 2019

Every love sings its own special, unique song, and in "So Long As We're Together", Glenda Burgess composes a symphony of beautifully intertwined and complementary expressions of emotional melodies --- sometimes a ballad, sometimes an aria, sometimes a raucous, rowdy blues tune, sometimes a gritty country story-song, and sometimes as gentle as a lullabye --- all coming together to make a captivating novel of great insight into the human condition. The Stone family women, recently deceased mother, Donna, and twin sisters Marley, the first person narrator and a songwriter, and Andi, a country music diva who's ridden to fame on the music Marley and she have made together, are an unforgettable trio of complicated, foibled and flawed human beings brought to vivid life in the 300, leave-you-wanting-more pages of Glenda Burgess's exploration of love --- between family members, between intimate partners, between friends, and, in an even more penetrating way, the love one must have for one's self, the journey to which and acceptance of is often far more confusing a tune to learn than that of loving and forgiving others. Marley's mother's apparent suicide, the mystery of its reasoning being at the center of this story, has brought Marley (and her sister) to a life-decision sort of crossroads, a vantage point from which the dredging of memories and contemplation of futures merge to force self-revelation and examination. But this is not one of those all-interior novels; Glenda Burgess is far too gifted for that. This is a novel of propulsive plotting where character is revealed through action and dialogue, and it is a "whydunit" --- one reads with the same eagerness as the sisters to somehow discover why their ever-vital, strong and light-filled mother would have committed suicide. Trigger NON-warning: I very recently experienced my mother's death, and have extremely close and --- in the past --- troubled, difficult relationships with siblings, so I was a bit trepidatious about reading this novel at this point in my life, however, Glenda Burgess writes with such immediacy, truthful detail, and full-characterizations that while I could relate to the situations and emotions (oh boy, did I ever), so fully imagined were the people and story in these pages that I was not triggered in a negative way, rather, it was an "ah yes, I too have felt that" hug of a novel. And, believe me, on a personal note, I can be triggered (and was, just two days ago) and dissolve into uncontrolled weeping by walking down a grocery aisle I have walked before with my mom and seeing her favorite candy. So, don't shy away from this novel because you think the themes might break your heart, they may, but in a helpful way. Long and short (and in between), "So Long As We're Together" is a novel you want to experience, a marvelous, compelling story set in a composition of joyous, deeply moving harmonies, hauntingly sung in artful prose by a writer fully in charge of her gifts and artistry. Five stars. I was sent an arc of this novel, accepted with my standard proviso, I have too much respect for authors and the art of writing to write about books I don't love, so I am always clear that I will only share my views on a book if I truly enjoy it, and enjoy this one, I definitely did. I think you will too. (less)

-- Charlie Smith
Book description:​

Two little girls, holding hands and singing in the back seat of a car. There for each other, unafraid. Life for the Stone girls is a life lived on the edge. Singing for a living, Marley and Andi find their way through a childhood of upheaval marked by their mother Donna’s dark, unpredictable flights. Today, Marley writes the songs her twin, country diva Andi Stone, makes famous, and the girls’ connection struggles to survive the cuts and devastations of fame. “You girls,” laments their manager. “One of you marries indiscriminately, the other not at all.” When without warning Donna Stone takes her own life, alone at the family cabin, danger stalks Marley back to Lost Prince Lake, back into the loves and betrayals of the past. Hidden truths threaten to take the Stone sisters down, singly and together. A powerful, intimate portrait of love, ambition, and survival, So Long As We’re Together takes the reader into the lives of three women who give song to broken hearts, and for whom music is the language of family.

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