Customer Reviews for

Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted September 29, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Gail's account of her years as a functional alcoholic are stark

    Gail's account of her years as a functional alcoholic are stark and poignant. In one particularly bad moment, she passes out in a drunken stupor and breaks four ribs. This doesn't stop her from drinking and she fashions a portable bar by attaching a bag of ice and a flask of liquor to her crutches. It takes her a long time to accept that she was in fact an alcoholic and needed help to stop drinking. And unlike Caroline who'd written a book about her drinking problem, Gail never really liked to discuss this part of her life and they had been friends for a while before she ever broached the subject. I remember reading of Knapp's death not long after that and feeling so pained by the fact that she had survived alcoholism only to be robbed of her life just a few years later. Caldwell's book was like finding a missing piece for me, an intimate look into the lives of Knapp and Caldwell and the tremendous friendship they wove together through walks in the woods, long summer vacations together and countless hours on the phone. A friendship that close changes lives forever, but neither was prepared for what lie ahead. Highly recommended, esp. after reading Knapp's memoir.    

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    Finally...

    ...a memoir that encompasses the intimate journey of true friendship. There is good balance here, a vivid picture of how Gail and Caroline found their rhythm. I lived in Boston for many years and was an avid fan of Caroline's column. I was saddened by the loss to the community when she died. Now, so many years later, I applaud the courage it must have taken for Gail to write this beautiful account. It has brought Caroline back to those of us who knew and read her and those who didn't. Her love, kindness, and respect for animals is far-reaching--something more people should embrace. As always, the animals lead the way. I hope to see more of Gails' writing in the future, she is one darned good wordsmith.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2010

    Stupendous

    This is a story about the life and death of Caroline Knapp, Gail Caldwell's best friend, and it's so lovingly done and uplifting that I didn't cry at all. The pair bond over training their dogs and share with each other their love of swimming and rowing. They had several mutual friends as well and lived rich, full lives.

    After the death, an event occurs that left me shaken and horrified and makes me tear up even days later.

    This book is for everyone, especially those who love dogs, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, have had a close friendship or loves stories with depth.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    BEAUTIFUL!

    Obviously written from the heart, Gail Caldwell begins her story of her friendship with the writer Caroline Knapp. These two writers who for most of their lives were introverted, and content to be so, shared their passions, especially those of writing and of their dogs. Both came from challenging but not abusive families. It's a celebration of friendship, of support and being supported, of the animal bond, of sharing creativity and of sharing illness and death. This is an intensely moving memoir that is sure to bring the reader to tears!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I cried

    I rarely cry because of what I read in a book but this book was so beautifully written and it dealt with real emotions when someone you love is dying or has died. This book truly moved me. Of course, I've read books by Caroline Knapp and was devastated when she died and I wouldn't be able to read anymore of her books. But, I can't imagine being in the shoes of Gail Caldwell, her closest friend. This is an amazing book I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    As sad as this book is, Gail's writing is so beautiful and her desription of her emotions so true, it was well worth the read. In fact, I will read it again!

    I loved this book. I had read Caroline's book, "Drinking , A Love Story" so was familiar with her but not with Gail.
    Their relationship was the kind of friendship many women dream of. I related as I am a similar age, a recovering alcoholic and love dogs. I also have someone I love dying for terminal cancer.

    Gail's writing is so wonderful, I feel inadequate to even describe it. Well worth the sadness and tears.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautifully written memoir about life, pets, and friendship

    The author does a wonderful job of illustrating the true essence of life -- giving of yourself to care for those you love, human and animal, and appreciate their love in return.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    It was ok

    The book was just ok to me. I did enjoy it however. Definitely took from it some things I can apply to myself.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    LET'S TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, by Gail Caldwell,

    This is such a beautiful memoir about Caroline Knapp. Knapp and Caldwell are two independent women writers who love their dogs and their privacy. Caldwell tells stories about her friend, sharing her humor and her love and her strength. It's about the closeness of friends, death, loss, wisdom and sharing it all, life-changing emotional connection. A memorable read! Other good ones: FOR ONE MORE DAY, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, THE BOY WHO CAME BACK FROM HEAVEN, THE FIVE PEOPLE WE MEET IN HEAVEN, I WILL WAIT FOR YOU; ETERNAL BLISS

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Let's Take the Long Way Home

    This was a wonderful book. It was a tender story about two career girls who became good friends. Their lives were intertwined & their love for their dogs were so great. It ended on a sad note as one of them died.She had cancer, but the author wrote the book in such a way that the reader knew she was going to live through her grief. I am not too good on writing reviews, but but believe me you will love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Recommended

    I was surprised how much this book hit close to home for me. It is beautifully written, and completely bittersweet. Definitely a tearjerker! I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it.

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  • Posted November 10, 2012

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings An honest look

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    An honest look at friendships between women - a relationship that should hold just as much value as the one between spouses. My mom always told me that your significant other can not be your only relationship, they can't be everything for you. This book drove that lesson home page after page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This was a really moving book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    An amazing story

    this was such a moving and amazing story of friendship I cannot say enough how wonderful this story was!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Best book ever

    I read this when I was grieving the death from cancer of my golden retriever Selka. I so related to Gail, Caroline and their dogs. Everything they went through I had experienced. Alcoholism, staying sober, loving and losing, dealing with relationships and dealing with cancer and loss. This book is so true , rich and full of love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Loved it (and I'm not one for tear-jerkers)!

    I'm not sure what I liked best in this memoir: the poignant storytelling, the intimate friendship of these "merry recluses", the heartbreak of their past struggles with alcoholism, the narrator's grief or Gail and Caroline's love for their canine companions. It's all here and richly told.

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    Wrenching

    I do read a lot. So when I picked this up I expected a story of friendship. Two friends, their dogs..etc. Early into the book you realize one of them will die, it is a part of life, so I kept reading. While well written it was the most heart wrenching book I have ever read. I would not recommend it to anyone. I can not even pass it on to friends. While Ms. Caldwell may be a wonderful writer, this story was not enjoyable at all. At first I thought it might be a great book to recommend to my female smoking patients, that is not even possible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    story of friendship

    This is a great story of the strength of friendships and the complex connections in people's lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    Dog Lovers and Friendship

    This was a great book. If you have lost a good friend, this will take you back, exposing those feelings. If you are a dog lover you can relate too. This book gripped me from beginning to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Quick read

    You have to love a womens prospect of survival of sorts. Be prepared to face life and death and the human response with the love of dogs in the mix.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
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