Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Monday, June 28


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.

At twenty-one, still a struggling actor, Martin and his wife, Janet, welcomed their firstborn, Emilio, who was quickly followed by three more children. Emilio had a special relationship with Martin: they often mirrored each other’s passions and sometimes clashed in their differences. After Martin and Emilio traveled together to India for the movie Gandhi, the beginnings of a spiritual awakening eventually led both men to Spain. Along the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrimage path, Emilio directed Martin in The Way, bringing generations together in the region of Spain where Martin’s father was born and near where Emilio’s own son had moved to marry and live.

With vivid, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, Along the Way is a striking, stirring, funny story—a family saga that is as universal in its rebellions and regrets, aspirations and triumphs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451643749
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 440
Sales rank: 282,200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Martin Sheen was born (and still is) Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez. Sheen is perhaps best known for his unforgettable performances in Badlands, Apocalypse Now, Wall Street, and as President Josiah Bartlet on television’s The West Wing. A longtime activist for social justice and human rights, he resides in Malibu, California, with Janet, his wife of fifty years.

Emilio Estevez is known for his roles in The Outsiders, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, and The Mighty Ducks and as writer and director of The War at Home, Bobby, and The Way, films with substantive social subjects. He is coproprietor of Casa Dumetz vineyards in Malibu, with partner Sonja Magdevski, where they live.

Hope Edelman is the author of five prior nonfiction books, including the international bestseller Motherless Daughters. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Topanga Canyon, California.

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

Customer Reviews