Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home

Overview

Newlywed Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan Davis, two hardworking freelancers, began their lives together in 2008 by pursuing a lifelong, shared dream of leaving Maine and going West. At first, California was the land of plenty. Quickly, though, the recession landed, and a surprise pregnancy that was also surprisingly rough made Caitlin too sick to work. By December, every job Dan had lined up had been canceled, and though he pounded the pavement, from shop to shop and from bar to bar, he could not find any ...

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Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home

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Overview

Newlywed Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan Davis, two hardworking freelancers, began their lives together in 2008 by pursuing a lifelong, shared dream of leaving Maine and going West. At first, California was the land of plenty. Quickly, though, the recession landed, and a surprise pregnancy that was also surprisingly rough made Caitlin too sick to work. By December, every job Dan had lined up had been canceled, and though he pounded the pavement, from shop to shop and from bar to bar, he could not find any work at all. By March 2009, every cent of the couple's savings had been spent.

So, a year after they'd set out with big plans, Caitlin and Dan packed up again, this time with a baby on board, to make their way home to move in with Caitlin's mother. As they drove, Caitlin blogged about their situation and created audio diaries for NPR's Weekend Edition—and received an astounding response. From all across the country, listeners offered help, opening their hearts and their homes. And when the young family arrived back in rural Maine and squeezed into Caitlin's mother's small saltbox house, Caitlin learned that the bonds of family run deeper than any tug to roam, and that, with love, she and Dan could hold their dreams in sight, wherever they were.

Made for You and Me captures the irrepressible spirit and quiet perseverance of one small family—and offers to share that strength with any reader willing to make the journey.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shetterly, who chronicled her cross-country trip from L.A. to Maine for NPR's Weekend Edition, offers this deeper look into her emotional and geographic journey. The recession hit Maine hard in late 2007. Shetterly and her husband, caught off guard, struggled to make a living. Friends in California beckoned the pair, with tales of a sunnier, more prosperous, and stable life. The optimistic young couple, together with their dog and cat, set out for Los Angeles in 2008. A year later, depressed and broke, toting a new baby and minus one pet, they drove back home to Maine, settling in with Shetterly's mother. "My anger had fueled me to the point of outrage—how could America let me down this way? How could America do this to families? Wasn't it just yesterday we were watching Sex and the City and buying fabulous ‘lifestyles' on maxed out credit cards? What had changed overnight?" In this compelling narrative, Shetterly reveals all the messy, mundane details of lives coming undone. However, as she acknowledges sadly, it's her observations on the reduced American lifestyle that give her commentary an edge. Readers would be wise to heed her commentary on the loss of our small towns, homelessness, joblessness and the increasing economic divisions between Americans. (Mar.)
Scott Simon
"Caitlin Shetterly's Made for You and Me is a beautiful, moving, haunting, and funny memoir about what really counts. It moves deftly and lightly between the west coast and the east coast, and frustration and hope, with pointed, buoyant lines that make you smile as they pierce your heart. Made for You and Me is a memoir about great people (with great dogs, too; funny how that works out) and their great new son going through a rough patch with grace and wisdom. Caitlin and her family will realize many dreams. And in the meantime, rather than despair, they have given us a sublime gift of a book."
Kai Ryssdal
"There's a story of this country that doesn't get told a lot. Or told well. Of what it's like to not make it. Of having to say to yourself, and to your spouse and your child 'Listen, this isn't it. We need to try something else. We need to start over...from the very beginning.' Caitlin Shetterly's Made for You and Me is that story. Resonant and richly detailed, it takes you deep into the personal heart of the beginning of the financial crisis and the recession that followed. Then, somehow, via Venice, California, backwoods Maine and 3000 miles in between brings you out the other end."
Peter Davis
"Caitlin Shetterly was brave to leave home, braver to come back, bravest to tell a hardluck yet finally redemptive story of how she and her passionately devoted husband fought life to a draw in their coast to coast to coast odyssey. Kerouac would be proud. In fact he might be envious."
From the Publisher
"Caitlin Shetterly's Made for You and Me is a beautiful, moving, haunting, and funny memoir about what really counts. It moves deftly and lightly between the west coast and the east coast, and frustration and hope, with pointed, buoyant lines that make you smile as they pierce your heart. Made for You and Me is a memoir about great people (with great dogs, too; funny how that works out) and their great new son going through a rough patch with grace and wisdom. Caitlin and her family will realize many dreams. And in the meantime, rather than despair, they have given us a sublime gift of a book."—Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday and the author of Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other

"There's a story of this country that doesn't get told a lot. Or told well. Of what it's like to not make it. Of having to say to yourself, and to your spouse and your child 'Listen, this isn't it. We need to try something else. We need to start over...from the very beginning.' Caitlin Shetterly's Made for You and Me is that story. Resonant and richly detailed, it takes you deep into the personal heart of the beginning of the financial crisis and the recession that followed. Then, somehow, via Venice, California, backwoods Maine and 3000 miles in between brings you out the other end."—Kai Ryssdal, host of NPR's Marketplace

"Caitlin Shetterly was brave to leave home, braver to come back, bravest to tell a hardluck yet finally redemptive story of how she and her passionately devoted husband fought life to a draw in their coast to coast to coast odyssey. Kerouac would be proud. In fact he might be envious."—Peter Davis, Academy Award winning director of Hearts and Minds

Library Journal
Writer, actor, and dreamer Shetterly and her aspiring-photographer husband packed up and traveled cross-country to California to pursue the American dream. But Caitlin's unplanned and difficult pregnancy, the implosion of the American economy, and an impossible job market forced them back home. The big picture of Shetterly's journey is already familiar to her NPR listeners, but this fills in details and answers questions too complicated for a sound bite.What I Am Telling My Friends Honestly, it's hard to be sympathetic regarding Shetterly's concerns about organic food and wardrobe issues. The bottom line is her family wound up back home, safe and sound with medical insurance. They aren't the Joads, no matter how many references to Steinbeck and Guthrie there are. —"Memoir Short Takes", Booksmack!, 12/16/10.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401341466
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Caitlin Shetterly is a freelance writer, contributor to National Public Radio, actor and the Founder and Artistic Director of the Winter Harbor Theatre Company. She makes her life in Portland, Maine with her husband, the photographer Dan Davis, their son and their dog Hopper.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

    I loved this book.

    Caitlin Shetterly writes with such passion, humor and honesty. I could not but this book down! This memoir looks at everything that really matters; family, friends, and a mothers bond with her child. It also restores your faith in mankind. A wonderful book that is "Made for You and Me."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You Can Always Go Home

    Caitlin and Dan are newly married when they decide to move across country from Maine to California to have more job opportunities. Unfortunately, they arrive in California just as the country is diving headlong into a recession. An unplanned pregnancy, and the horrible morning, noon, and night sickness Caitlin experiences keeps her in bed for much of her pregnancy, leaving Dan to work hard to provide for them.

    The joy of being new parents is overshadowed by Dan's lack of work, and the money is rapidly running out. Both realize they must leave California and make the long trek back to Maine in order to start their lives over. In doing so, they understand that home really is where our family and hearts are, and sometimes you have to leave your home to appreciate all the wonderfulness of it when you come back.

    I enjoyed this story about a young couple who, even with the smarts, the education, and the drive, had a difficult time making it on their own. It speaks to everyone about living simply, and learning to enjoy what we have instead of what we think we need.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    A real page turner!

    When I read this book, my heart pounded and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. In this economy, you never know what is going to happen next and Shetterly perfectly captured that breathless, helpless sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop. She and her husband, Dan, who is painted with amazing tenderness, receive blow after blow. From arriving in LA to find the apartment they rented unlivable to the worst morning sickness (more like all-day sickness) in history to losing job after job. And together they have to keep going, they have to find reasons to keep getting up in the morning-their newborn son, the beauty of nature, their love for each other and their belief that things have to get better, right?-and that journey and the wisdom they gathered along the way kept me glued to the page.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    Treat yourself!

    Made For You And Me, by Caitlin Shetterly, tells the universal story of transition from youth and its freedoms to the responsibilities and struggles that accompany the move into marriage, parenting and settling in. What make her tale compelling is the way in which she tells it. Beautifully constructed and delivered, it does not read like a laundry list of woes; rather a tale told with imagination, pathos and humor. All very skillfully and stylishly delivered making it a page turner.

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  • Posted March 5, 2011

    Total page turner- definitely read!

    I loved this book and couldn't put it down! Shetterly's self-awareness and willingness to share her own shortcomings is very poignant and anyone who is a parent can relate to her struggles whether or not they've been hit by the recession. And really anyone who's been hit hard by a situation they weren't expecting will be right there with her and her sweet family as they go about their journey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2011

    Check it out!

    This isn't just a story about a young family chasing their dreams. It's a story about the reality at the end of the tunnel and the decisions we're all faced with when life throws us into unexpected situations. It's about family, marriage, the Recession, and the American dream. I think anyone dealing with any of these issues could find a place for themselves in Caitlin Shetterly's memoir.

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    Posted April 6, 2011

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    Posted July 11, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2011

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