LONG RUN is a coming of age novel that puts the reader into the heart and mind of a desperate eleven-year-old boy as he struggles to reclaim his life and survive on the run. It is an authentic and inspirational tale of hope, healing, survival, and second chances that may help parents, educators, and mental health professionals understand how to engage with children, how to forge a healing relationship, and how to make sense out of wayward behavior.
LONG RUN, is the story of a troubled eleven-year-old boy (Gabriel), living in a miserable foster home, who runs away after he and his best friend burn down the woods behind his house. Raised by a severe father and a detached mother the story reveals how an eleven-year-old boy, filled with shame and self-doubt, becomes desperate enough to strike out on his own. Instead of escaping his troubles, he creates a whole new set of problems, until one day, hopelessly trapped and fearing for his life, Gabriel is rescued by a mystical giant of a man, Long Run. Long Run guides Gabriel in his struggle to survive while using the healing power of the human relationship to rebuild his shattered spirit.
Along the way, Long Run arranges for Gabriel to earn money doing odd jobs for Dr. Chamberlain, a burnt out psychologist looking to restore his professional pride by becoming a hero again. Dr. Chamberlain decides not to call the authorities even though he realizes that Gabriel is a runaway. As Dr. Chamberlain becomes more entangled with Gabriel’s secret life on the run he is further ensnared by his own demons.
Rachel Parker, a retired school teacher driven out of teaching after her attempt to advocate for a student resulted in the firing of two of her colleagues, knows Dr. Chamberlain well and she becomes concerned that her friend’s quest to save Gabriel will land him in serious trouble and ruin Gabriel’s chance for a new life. Still tormented by guilt for failing her own son, Rachel enters Gabriel’s life as his academic tutor while Gabriel helps her restore her gardens. Rachel reaches out to Gabriel through carefully crafted notes left on the potting shed bench—his study area. Gabriel soaks up every drop of encouragement that Rachel sends his way, and every day he works hard to earn the respect and admiration of his new teacher. But time is running out. Gabriel gets himself into trouble with a gang of local bullies who are determined to track him down, Rachel is losing her battle against a life threatening illness, and Dr. Chamberlain is under increasing pressure from one of his colleagues to report Gabriel to the authorities.