Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Longing for Home: Reflections at Midlife” as Want to Read:
The Longing for Home: Reflections at Midlife
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Longing for Home: Reflections at Midlife

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In this deeply moving book of reflection and recollection, Frederick Buechner once again draws us into his deeply textured life and experience to illuminate our own understanding of home as both our place of origin and our ultimate destination.

For Frederick Buechner, the meaning of home is twofold: the home we remember and the home we dream. As a word, it not only recalls
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published July 4th 1996 by HarperOne
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Longing for Home, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Longing for Home

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 439)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dec 26, 2009 Lizlo added it
Rev. Buechner's Longing for Home holds within its pages wisdom for people of any faith. He is open about his own dark places which permits the reader to honor theirs. He depicts this dark side with a loving care that is exempt from righteous judgement.

Having experienced family issues and the meaning of what it is to be rooted and home, this spiritual read resonated for me.
Debbie Howell
Feb 29, 2008 Debbie Howell rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Debbie by: book group
Read more like a collection of essays than as one cohesive piece, but I liked it. Loved the poems he included, loved his reminiscences about his family, loved his description of his process of writing. I zoned out a few times ("Rinkitink in Oz" didn't do much for me), but things picked up at the end with a series of short reflections on faith, hope, and grace.
Dec 11, 2007 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Heaven Hopefuls
As usual, Beuchner does an outstanding job. This short book of letters, poems and essays is a magnificent view of everyday life from a man who is near the end of his own. A must-read!
At the front of my copy of this book, there is an inscription that reads:

For Scott, Who has already found a home among us. May we be family to you. Grace and Peace, Your Royal Lane Family

It was an installation gift, eleven years ago. It and two other Buechner books, given to me because they were surprised I hadn't read any and also because they felt Buechner so well described the spirit of Royal Lane. I had, however, just before that read my first Buechner, his best book, Telling the Truth. So,
The whole of this book, a collection of essays reflecting on the various types of "home" and yearlings for it, earns a meager three stars. As a whole, the book does not always feel very connected.

However, certain chapters/essays earn 5 stars. These include "The Home We Knew," "The Journey Toward Wholeness," and "The Great Dance." Parts of this book were very insightful. I read it in preparation for a sermon series in Zechariah.
After getting ripped off by Barnes and Noble (I didn't realize it at the time, but some lawyer informed me that I was, in fact, ripped off) I was included in a settlement. As a result, I had a few pennies to rub together in my Barnes and Noble account. A good friend of mine, +Jonathan Roberts, had recommended that I read some Frederick Buechner. He said that he really enjoyed Buechner's work and that I would probably enjoy it too. I went ahead and purchased a couple of his nook-books and just fi ...more
Colleen Lahey
I felt that Part 2 was better than Part 1 but, on the whole, the book just didn't work for me. Part 1, in particular, was too disjointed.
Liz Banks
At this time, I needed this book, and it felt as if it was written for me.
Carrie Laben
I accept that I'm not really in the target audience for this book. But it has glaring flaws regardless of the reader's belief system, including a weak through-line, repetitiveness, and a general lack of apparent thought in choosing and ordering the included essays. Buechner is constrained and stuffy when writing about emotionally fraught issues, and often tedious when he thinks he is being charming. On top of this, I found his reasoning weak.
Feb 09, 2010 H added it
Shelves: memoir
2nd half. reflects what sidney wrote, that pleasure from sorrow is sometimes greater even than pleasure from pleasure.

when we catch a glimpse of heaven or of paradise, we shed a tear. not tears of happiness, b/c happiness is just things going the way we want, quickly proceeded by the unhappiness of things not going the way we want. tears of joy and grief together. we are homesick for heaven.
The construction felt a bit odd, but the wisdom was of the depth that I often cherish when reading Buechner. It touches on ideas that he develops further in some of his other words. A quick and refreshing read.
Though not Buechner's best, he offers some thoughtful allusions and his voice is unmistakable. The book really doesn't have a theme that holds it together, but seems to be only a collection of essays, poems, sermons, and meditations that Buechner had been working on over a period of time.
Pam Howell
This is my second time readying this particular book of Buechner. His writing touches my heart, challenges my mind & speaks to my soul. He inspires me to live deeply.

This time around, the second half of the book was more powerful to me.
Steve Penner
Midlife reflections came at the right time for me. Buechner is in many ways an "everyman" in what he experiences, but very unique in the way he describes those experiences.
I did not like the first half of this book. The later chapters were more of what I was looking for. I wouldn't really recommend this book.
I reviewed this on my blog
This wonderful memoir brought tears of longing and reflections of sadness unspoken. Powerful and precious writing.
Ann Rothschild
Immersed myself in this over the winter break. This will be a book I re-read as life progresses.
Kyle Hoover
Part one is the dirt you have to dig through to find the treasure in part two.
Melinda marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2015
Tomigirl44 marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2015
Kailey marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2015
Krista marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2015
Tirza Magdiel
Tirza Magdiel marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2015
Debbie Wood
Debbie Wood marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2015
June marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2015
Lori Peterson
Lori Peterson marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Preaching Life
  • Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life
  • Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters
  • The Sacrament of the Present Moment
  • Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today
  • The Sign of Jonas
  • Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're More Like Jesus Than You Think?
  • Practicing Resurrection: A Memoir of Work, Doubt, Discernment, and Moments of Grace
  • 25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual Classics
  • The Sacredness of Questioning Everything
  • Pascal's Wager: The Man Who Played Dice with God
  • A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred
  • Jesus and the Disinherited
  • Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups
  • Christianity Rediscovered
  • The Witness of Preaching
  • Any Day a Beautiful Change: A Story of Faith and Family
  • My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer
Frederick Buechner is a highly influential writer and theologian who has won awards for his poetry, short stories, novels and theological writings. His work pioneered the genre of spiritual memoir, laying the groundwork for writers such as Anne Lamott, Rob Bell and Lauren Winner.

His first book, A Long Day's Dying, was published to acclaim just two years after he graduated from Princeton. He entere
More about Frederick Buechner...
Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner Godric The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days Telling Secrets

Share This Book

“our stories are all stories of searching. We search for a good self to be and for good work to do. We search to become human in a world that tempts us always to be less than human or looks to us to be more. We search to love and to be loved. And in a world where it is often hard to believe in much of anything, we search to believe in something holy and beautiful and life-transcending that will give meaning and purpose to the lives we live.” 2 likes
“We are in constant danger of being not actors in the drama of our own lives but reactors. The fragmentary nature of our experience shatters us into fragments. Instead of being whole, most of the time we are in pieces, and we see the world in pieces, full of darkness at one moment and full of light the next. It is in Jesus, of course, and in the people whose lives have been deeply touched by Jesus, and in ourselves at those moments when we also are deeply touched by him, that we see another way of being human in this world, which is the way of wholeness. When we glimpse that wholeness in others, we recognize it immediately for what it is, and the reason we recognize it, I believe, is that no matter how much the world shatters us to pieces, we carry inside us a vision of wholeness that we sense is our true home and that beckons to us. It is part of what the book of Genesis means by saying that we are made in the image of God.” 2 likes
More quotes…