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Long Journey Home

Long Journey Home

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 436+ 5-Start Reviews

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In this thrilling journey of discovery and deceit, a troubled woman must confront the ghosts of her past and the demons of her present. Long Journey Home is a twisted labyrinth of mystery and betrayal, where every corner holds another clue and every path leads Ashton deeper into uncertainty.

** Please Note: The audiobook version of this title has been digitally narrated. 

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Please choose carefully. Refunds do not apply for digital downloads such as ebooks. If you have questions, please contact me at ashley@ashleyfarley.com


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Synopsis

From beyond the grave, Ashton’s mother leaves a mysterious legacy that upends her world. Eileen Darby, the heiress to the Merriweather fortune, has entrusted her oldest daughter with the family's waterfront estate on Catawba Sound in South Carolina's Lowcountry, bequeathing virtually nothing to her other three children. This lavish bequest is more than a gift; it's a cryptic message, a puzzle interlaced with the troubled history of their dysfunctional family. As Ashton embarks on renovating the old home, she finds herself haunted by secrets lurking in the shadows of her memory. What is her mother trying to communicate, and what will she uncover as she delves into the murkiest corners of the memories she can't recall?"

Ashton’s husband is a proclaimed financial wizard, a mastermind who claims to have turned her recent investment into a fortune. Yet, he refuses to provide the account statements to verify it. With their marriage teetering on the brink, Ashton's dwindling trust gives way to mounting suspicions. Is he genuinely the financial virtuoso he purports to be, or is there a more sinister game afoot? As her marital bonds unravel, Ashton finds herself ensnared in a tangled web of deception. Each thread she tugs unravels a path leading her ever closer to a truth she may not be ready to confront. When she loses her way, she looks to a friend from her past to help her find herself again.

Chapter One-Look Inside

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I was nine years old when I nearly burned down my family’s home.

I’d seen my mama scramble eggs and fry bacon many times. I figured, how hard could it be? I had no choice anyway. My sisters were starving. I was used to being hungry. Filling my belly with water took the edge off. But Carrie and Savannah needed real substance. They’d polished off the last of a sleeve of Saltines hours ago, and the cupboard was now bare.

Carrie slammed the pantry door. “There’s nothing to eat in this house! Not even a can of Beanee Weenee!”

Savannah burst into tears. “We’re gonna starve to death!”

My youngest sister’s dejected face tugged at my heartstrings. I lifted her into my arms and bounced her around the kitchen. “We’re not gonna die, Vanny.” She was four years younger than me and small for her age. She needed more nutrition than crackers and mayonnaise.

When she finally stopped crying, I deposited her in a chair. “Stay here while I go upstairs. If Mama’s awake, she can drive us to the market.”

My sisters were terrified of her bad temper, and I was the self- appointed liaison between us and Mama. I climbed the stairs and entered my mama’s dark room. She was lying face down on the bed with legs splayed and yellow nightgown hiked up around her naked bottom. A nearly empty vodka bottle dangled from her fingertips, and a cigarette smoldered in the ashtray on the nightstand. I screwed the lid on the vodka bottle and snuffed out the cigarette. When I tried to shake Mama awake, she didn’t stir. Retrieving her sterling silver hand mirror from the dresser, I held it close to her lips, relieved when the glass fogged up. She may be alive, but she wouldn’t be taking us to the grocery anytime soon.

Leaving her bedroom door cracked, I went back downstairs. “Mama’s asleep. I’m gonna ask Daddy to take us to the market,” I reported to my sisters as I passed through the kitchen on my way outside.

I didn’t see Daddy’s car in the carport, but out of desperation, I crossed the lawn to the guesthouse to make sure he wasn’t home. Like mismatched socks, the guesthouse and main house didn’t belong together. The main house had wood siding and wide verandas. The guesthouse was made of concrete and oysters. Mama called the mixture tabby. According to family history, the guesthouse was built before my ancestors bought the Marsh Point property over a century ago.

We never locked our doors at Marsh Point. Back in those days, there was little crime in Water’s Edge. I knocked out of courtesy, but when Daddy didn’t answer, I let myself in and tiptoed into the kitchen in search of food. All I found was a brick of moldy cheddar cheese in the refrigerator and a box of grits in the pantry.

With head lowered, I traipsed back across the expanse of thick zoysia grass to the main house. I opened the refrigerator and surveyed the meager contents.

“How do scrambled eggs and bacon sound?” I asked my sisters.

Savannah squealed. “Yummy!”

Carrie planted a hand on her hip. “But you don’t know how to cook, remember?”

“I’ll figure it out.” I placed four slices of bacon in a cast-iron skillet and set it on the gas stove. I turned the burner on high, and within seconds, the bacon crackled. “See! I told you I could do it.”

I turned around to look at my sisters, who were watching me from a safe distance. When I turned back around, flames had engulfed the skillet. My sisters screamed, and I froze, staring at the small fire on the stove.

“Do something, Ashton!” Carrie shrieked.

Her terrified voice jerked me out of my trance. I turned off the burner, grabbed a potholder, and moved the blazing pan from the stove to the floor. I ordered my sisters to get outside as I ran for the wall phone to call for help. Dialing 9-1-1, I yelled at the operator to send the fire department.

“I live at Marsh Point, and our kitchen’s on fire.”

The operator detected my youthful voice. “How old are you, kid? Is this a prank?”  

“No, lady! This ain’t no joke. I’m watching the kitchen fill up with smoke as we speak. You need to send the firemen! And make it quick!”

Read Reviews!

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"Be forewarned: This is a page-turner and will keep you intrigued from beginning to end!"

"If you like books with dysfunctional family drama, this one is for you."

"Every time I read a new Ashley Farley book, it becomes my new favorite. A new LowCountry series and I love this first one."

"A wonderful story packed with dysfunction, mystery, drama, suspense, and people that I loved. Oh Wait... I take that back- I disliked one character or rather despised him so much I wanted to pull him from the pages of the book!"

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