Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 183
Laurie sets off [in The Long Journey] …, determined to avoid contact with any person in authority. Eventually, though, she discovers the truth in something that Emily Kimball, a retired schoolteacher who shelters her during a heavy hail storm, tells her about people: "'Time and again they'll let you down, but by and large you have to trust them.'" The strength of the book lies in the presentation of this central philosophy, as the author simply and clearly portrays the characters—both good and bad—that Laurie meets on her long journey to Butte and to her new self. The story is weakened, however, by the melodramatic treatment of the villain, "Old Hell-and-Damnation Hastings," who suggests the mad itinerant preacher in Davis Grubb's The Night of the Hunter. And one cannot help but wonder at the sheer number of adventures that the girl faces on her way…. Still, [Barbara Corcoran] has created another very enjoyable adventure story.
Sheryl B. Andrews, "Early Fall Booklist: 'The Long Journey'," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1970 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. XLV, No. 5, October, 1970, p. 478.