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Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir…
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Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship (2010)

by Gail Caldwell

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» See also 79 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
OMG, I liked this much better than I thought that I would.

This is the story of 2 women who found each other because of their dogs. They had a wonderful and fulfilling friendship. This is a true story and the book starts out telling you that one of the women dies of lung cancer.

I typically do not care much for the memoir books. They always seem a bit egotistical to me. The books are filled with many "I" and "Me" phrases. While this book is no differentin this respect, it is also a warm and wonderful story.

I want to feel the same kind of friendship that Gail and Caroline had. I want to feel the same kind of love and respect that they had for one another.

Gail, you did Caroline proud with this book and I am glad that I read it! ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
A story about death, dogs, and female friendship in New England. It's good to be reminded about the inevitability of death and the chance that it can come earlier and faster than we're ready for. I'm not quite so dog-oriented as the author, but I do know a couple and I can imagine that a pretty good person-canine relationship can develop. More interesting and producing a longer lasting personal response was the story of the relationship between two un-partnered women. ( )
  oldblack | Jun 28, 2017 |
Caldwell’s eloquent memoir thoughtfully chronicles her close friendship with fellow writer Caroline Knapp, following her early death from cancer. While the book is dedicated to the relationship they shared and the idiosyncrasies of friendship, Caldwell’s prose is most evocative in its bleak honesty regarding the poignancy of grief. Touching on Knapp’s and her own struggle with alcoholism, her progression as a writer, and their mutual joy in dog ownership, “Let’s Take the Long Way Home” is a sundry appreciation of what friendship alone can offer us and what we miss most when it’s gone. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
Just the most beautiful, flowing writing. Smooth as silk. Ideas flow into one another with no jarring. And the word usage is some of the best I've read in ages, unobtrusive, succinct yet extremely expressive.

Gail has a best friend. They share their love of dogs. They encourage each other to row and swim. They are both writers. They both carry significant psychic scars from earlier in their lives. And then there is loss.

Even if you don't read this book, I encourage you to find her writing, it really is good. ( )
  devilish2 | Aug 31, 2016 |
For those of us who journal, handling important events such as the loss of a friend comes out in our personal writing. I guess if you're an author, personal writing is easily interpreted for public consumption. But I don't think this really was written for a universal audience. It feels more like a diary than a book that should be published. Yes, grief and loss are addressed, memories of love and friendship are put into long-lasting pages, but is it really a story for the rest of us? I wasn't able to connect to it. ( )
  TerriBooks | Sep 7, 2015 |
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Epigraph
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. - George Eliot, Scenes of Clerical Life
Dedication
for Caroline
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It's an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that, too.
Quotations
Everyone was getting a crash course in irony, the lesson that the grievous and the mundane exist in parallel spheres.
...I thought grief was a simple, wrenching realm of sadness and longing that gradually receded. What that definition left out was the body blow that loss inflicts, as well as the temporary madness, and a range of less straightforward emotions shocking in their intensity. I would move as though I were underwater for weeks, maybe months...
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In this gorgeous, moving memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Caldwell reflects on her own coming-of-age in midlife, as she learns to open herself to the power and healing of sharing her life with a best friend.

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