Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son


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Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son by Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez

In this remarkable dual memoir, film legend Martin Sheen and his accomplished actor/director son Emilio Estevez share the stories of their lives while charting a spiritual journey through the Spain of their ancestors.While much has been written over the years about this prominent entertainment family, neither Martin Sheen nor Emilio Estevez has told his story in book form before. In Along the Way, they break that silence together, offering a striking, often stirring, frequently funny story of two very different kinds of faith—told from two viewpoints that are as different as they are eloquent.

Spanning more than fifty years of family history, this chronicle of a creative father and son is partially set against the background of Hollywood. But the heart of the story lies along the Camino de Santiago—the thousand-year-old pilgrimage path, also known as “The Way,” across northern Spain, from which Sheen’s father emigrated to the U.S. and to which Estevez’s own son has returned to live. There, Estevez directed his father in the filming of The Way, a major film to be released in October, 2011, and which has already garnered praise at the Toronto Film Festival. Along the Way celebrates the authors’ profound bond with each other, offers candid insight into their lives and careers, and explores the differing paths of spirituality they have taken through a multigenerational saga that has come full circle beneath the Iberian sun. What emerges is a raw, strikingly intimate portrait of two seekers whom readers will come to know as strong men of many important roles, perhaps the greatest of which are as fathers and sons.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451643688
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 05/08/2012
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.36(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Martin Sheen, born Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez, is perhaps best known for his unforgettable performances in Badlands (1973), Apocalypse Now (1979), and as President Josiah Bartlett on The West Wing (1999-2006).

Emilio Estevez has starred in numerous films, including The Outsiders (1983) and The Breakfast Club (1985), and has written and directed Bobby (2006) and The Way (2011).

Hope Edelman is the author of five previous books, including the international bestseller Motherless Daughters.

Author photograph, ©David Alexanian

Read an Excerpt


We never get over our fathers, and we’re not required to.

—Old Irish saying


In the summer of 2010 I got a call from my oldest son, Emilio. He was calling from the editing room where he was working on The Way, our film about a father-and-son pilgrimage, written and directed by Emilio, in which I play his father. We’d spent forty days filming in southwest France and northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago, the thousand-year-old, 500-mile route leading to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of Saint James the Apostle are believed to be interred.

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of Saint James, is a sacred path for Christians and, in recent years, walking its length has become a spiritual endeavor for people of all religions and backgrounds. The Camino ends in Galicia, a region of northern Spain to which four generations of Estevez men are tied. My father, Francisco, was born and raised there and my grandson, Emilio’s son Taylor, lives in Spain with his wife, Julia.

Working with Emilio on The Way was one of the most extraordinary and satisfying projects of my life, and I longed for another father-son adventure with him. And that day Emilio was calling with just such a project.

“Hey, listen,” Emilio said. “Would you be interested in writing a dual memoir?”

“A memoir? You mean a book?”

“Yeah. A father-son memoir. Whatta ya say?”

I was intrigued. To my knowledge no such memoir had ever been published, at least not in our profession. Married couples have written books together, but not a father and son. The possibility began to excite me and I bombarded him with questions.

“Hold on!” he said. “I just want to know if you’re interested.”

“Of course I’m interested,” I assured him. “I’d work with you on anything. Do you have an offer from a publisher?”

“Not exactly, but I have a meeting with a literary agent at my house this weekend. We’re going to have lunch, chat, and see if there are enough reasons to pursue this.” Then he hung up.

I almost called him back to invite myself over for that lunch. After all, Emilio only lives a few hundred yards down the street from me and his mother, Janet. But I restrained myself and waited for him to report back.


That weekend, I sat on my outdoor patio with literary agent Scott Waxman and David Alexanian of Elixir Films, the producer for The Way. We were drinking wine that my partner Sonja and I had made and lunching on vegetables picked just two hours earlier from our backyard microfarm.

“Emil, maybe you should tell Scott about the kind of book you have in mind,” David said.

I chewed on one of my homegrown cucumbers and stalled for time to come up with something pithy and meaningful.

“It’s a father-son story,” I said.

“Yes, that’s what attracted me to it initially,” Waxman said. “So it’s not only about the filming and the experience?”

“Right. It’s about how we got here, as men and as artists. Everyone thinks they already know the story. Truth is most folks don’t know the half of it.”

Scott leaned forward. He was interested in those stories, too, he said.

So, here it is. These are the stories you thought you knew but didn’t. Stories you can’t find through a Google search, scenes that we’ve recreated from our memories, to the best of our abilities. In the course of our dual acting careers, we’ve been involved in more than 250 movies and television shows. It would be impossible to mention them all here, so we’ve highlighted only the ones that had the most impact on our relationship and on our emerging careers. As a result, we had to leave out some notable ones.

We joined forces with Hope Edelman, an accomplished memoirist in her own right, for the writing. Hope tolerated our madness, our impossible schedules, and our considerable distractions. She truly has the patience of Job and listened to our stories, the good ones and the bad, and pulled them together in our own voices. We showed our scars and our triumphs, and sometimes our asses. In many ways, the entire exercise was like a long, drawn-out therapy session with Hope as our trinity—counselor/confessor/writer.

We’ve chosen to be honest, even when it was painful to do so, and even when a scene is less than flattering to one or both of us. We’ve done this in the hope that our story will inspire other fathers and sons to reflect on their journeys together and to inspire them to honor and give thanks for each other, in whatever way they can.

This is our journey on the metaphorical “road,” the camino that all fathers and sons travel in some form or another. Our road sometimes gets a little bumpy, as roads often do. But on this road, nobody gets thrown under the bus while we’re behind the wheel.

Let’s go!

Table of Contents

Prologue ix

St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, September 2009: Emilio 1

1 Martin, 1940-1959 13

2 Martin, 1962-1968 33

3 Emilio, 1967-1969 69

4 Martin, 1969 89

5 Emilio, 1970-1972 101

Outside Pamplona, Spain, September 2009: Martin 117

6 Emilio, 1972-1974 125

7 Martin, 1973-1976 141

8 Martin, 1976 161

9 Emilio, 1976 167

10 Martin, 1976 191

Haro, Spain, October 2009: Emilio 197

11 Emilio, 1976-1977 205

12 Martin, 1977-1979 221

13 Emilio, 1979-1980 239

14 Martin, 1981 259

15 Emilio, 1981 273

Burgos, Spain, October 2009: Emilio 279

16 Martin, 1981 291

17 Emilio, 1981-1983 305

18 Emilio, 1983-1987 325

19 Martin, 1984-1989 345

20 Emilio, 1990-1994 355

21 Emilio, 2000-2012 375 # Santiago de Compostela, Spain, November 2009: Martin 385

Epilogue: EMILIO: 2000-2012 391

Acknowledgments 395

Index 397

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Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book two days ago and can't put it down. This book is a beautiful insight of a father son duo. Reading this has helped me gain a better understanding of my brother and fathers relationship and even my sons and their father's relationship. I grew up watching Emilio and have so much respect for his work. Martin Sheen is a father/husband that takes his job seriously. I have learned so much about parenthood, marriage, and the relationships of fathers and sons by reading this book. I recommend this book to everyone. Its funny, heart warming, and full of beautiful advice. I have bookmarked pages and saved quotes I will use with my own boys. I will be reading this book again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful and joyous love story! We should all be so lucky as to have this kind of relationship. The alternating between authors makes the read feel like a dialog between the two. Like the reader is sharing an intmacy intended for just the two of them. I became interested in the book because I am a huge fan of Emilio Estavez and even more so of Martin Sheen. But the fact that both father and son are well known and accomplished in their fields actually becomes an aside. The story is of love and respect and celebration for family, heritage and each other. Will this book win a Pulitzer? I doubt it. Will you be glad you read it? I think so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
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