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The Shortest Way Home

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,691 Ratings  ·  258 Reviews
Sean has spent twenty years in Third World war zones and natural disaster areas, fully embracing what he’d always felt was his life’s mission. But when burnout sets in, Sean is reluctantly drawn home to Belham, Massachusetts, the setting of Fay’s much-loved Shelter Me. There, he discovers that his steely aunt, overly dramatic sister, and quirky nephew are having a little n ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Penguin Books (first published October 1st 2012)
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B the BookAddict
Aug 15, 2016 B the BookAddict rated it really liked it
Shelves: lite-reading

This second of Juliette Fay books does not disappoint. Sean has spent his entire adult life nursing in Third World war zones and natural disaster areas. It's been 20 years since he was home; where he reluctantly heads after severe back pain and burnout set in when he is 43. Home is a place where his mother died when he was a very young child and his father abandoned them when Sean was 10. Home is his idiosyncratic Aunt Vivvy who grudgingly raised he and his siblings. Diedre, his sister, now an a
Sep 27, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's not a fast moving story nor is it evocative or highly moving. It quietly educates the reader on a number of common and uncommon maladies along with a message of looking close to home for the best place to serve.

The protagonist is Sean, a 43 year old man, who has been spent the past couple of decades running himself ragged in war torn and health ravaged countries. As a registered male nurse, he has dedicated his life to help the less fortunate
Nov 14, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, arcs, adult, 2012
A review copy of The Shortest Way Home was kindly provided to me by FSB Associates for Penguin Books.
Expected publication: October 30th 2012 by Penguin Books

Visit my blog for a chance to win a copy of this book!

'From the time he was fifteen Sean had known he would head out and do as much good as he could in the time that was left, while he waited for his mother's diagnosis to become his own.'

Sean has known since an early age that he had a 50% chance he would develop the same disease that took hi
Pauline Tilbe
Nov 14, 2012 Pauline Tilbe rated it it was amazing
I happen to believe that anything written by Juliette Fay is a win. I believed that since I read Shelter Me. She develops characters and shows you the side that is imperfect and impatient, the depth of a character that you don't always get in a contemporary novel.
As much as Huntington's was a big piece of this story, the sensory issues that Kevin lived with were so enlightening. I really learned a lot about that. I felt like it tied in well with the whole family dysfunction and dynamics. I'm a
Susan (The Book Bag)
Mar 21, 2013 Susan (The Book Bag) rated it really liked it
I had already read one of Juliette's books, Deep Down True. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have her books on my 'must be read' list. When this one came along to review, I just had to read it.

I loved this story for a lot of reasons but there was one in particular that I kept thinking about the whole time I was reading it ~ the main character in The Shortest Way Home is a male. It seems like it has been quite a while since I have read a book from a male's perspective. It was refreshing.

Sean suffers s
Dec 26, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. I’ve been a fan of Juliette Fay since reading the first few chapters of her debut Shelter Me. Juliette is one of those writers who has a way of getting inside her characters, with the unique ability of making them come to life on each and every page.

Due to Sean's mother passing away from Huntington's disease, there is a 50% probability that Sean might inherit it. This prompts Sean to devote his life to helping and caring for others as a nurse in third world countri
Dec 04, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic novel! I admit that I haven't read anything else by Fay, but will now search out her previous works. I really loved this story, despite its predictability. The characters were all very likeable and engaging. Although I have nothing in common with the protagonist: male, 40s (almost there, but not quite!), bachelor, nurse in war-torn countries, and self-centred, I really liked him and felt connected to him. This has to be due to the author's style of writing and ability to make ...more
Edna Black
Mar 12, 2013 Edna Black rated it it was amazing
I'm waiting to read this. I LOVE Juliette Fay's books and have read them all. Edna
Viviane Crystal
Sep 29, 2012 Viviane Crystal rated it really liked it
Sean Doran has been working as a nurse in areas devastated by hurricanes and other natural disasters as well as countries ravaged by poverty, illiteracy, and disease. But now he seems to be suffering from a massive case of burn-out, complicated by searing back pain that cripples him. He has no commitments to anyone and knows it. So he decides to return home to a small Massachusetts town, home where his Aunt Vivvy, his sister Deirdre and his nephew Kevin live. And it's a visit he dreads!

This fami
Sharon Chance
Nov 12, 2012 Sharon Chance rated it it was amazing
"The Shortest Way Home" is a novel that has many different personalities! It's a story about family loyalty, it's a story about one man's journey back home, it's a story about parenting, it's a love story, and it's a story about how one family deals with a devastating disease and how it affects them all.

Juliette Fay introduces her readers to the charming Irish-American Doran family in this fascinating novel. Sean Doran's homecoming from years abroad working as a disaster relief nurse is not the
Oct 27, 2012 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Fans of Juliette Fay's other novels, "Shelter Me" and "Deep Down True" will adore this one as well! Sean Doran, a registered nurse, returns to his hometown after several years of medical mission work in war-ravaged, poverty-stricken countries. He wasn’t expecting his stop to be a long one, but he quickly realizes his family needs him. His nephew, Kevin, is struggling emotionally and his aunt is exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s. But before Sean can try to pick up the pieces, he needs to readjust ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
Juliette Fay does it again. I couldn't put down The Shortest Way Home. Fay employs believable dialogue to create characters that are astonishingly relate-able. I'm always surprised by how attached I grow to her characters, characters who live seemingly worlds apart from me, those with whom I would have previously thought I had nothing in common. The depth of her understanding of human emotion (and her ability to express it) pervades once more, though, in this new novel.

From the readers in small
Miriam Downey
Dec 20, 2012 Miriam Downey rated it really liked it
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

Life is complicated. Life is messy. There is no way to escape either the complications or the messiness, so you might as well just make the best of it. That is the one sentence summation of The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay. If you have ever looked around at your life and thought “I gotta get out of here!” then this is the book for you.

Sean is a 40-something nurse who has been traveling from third world country to third world
Jun 26, 2013 Mary rated it liked it
Since the age of twelve, Sean Doran believed he would develop Huntington's, the fatal disease that killed his mother and left him with the genetic probability of an early death. His own certainty of dying young has influenced every decision in his life, and he becomes a nurse and dedicates himself to helping people in war-torn and disaster-affected third-world countries. At 43 years old, he begins to feel the effects of burn-out, so he comes home to the U.S. for what he thinks is a temporary ...more
LaQuita (Just Us Girls)
The Shortest Way Home was a really good read. This was my first time reading a book from Juliette Fay and I have to say I was really impressed. It's not too fast paced and it's not too slow. It's perfect. The description of the characters alone were written very well and I loved that they were very descriptive about the main character, Sean's, mother and the Huntington's disease that killed her. This is why Sean is the way he is throughout the story. Since the Huntington's disease killed his ...more
Apr 18, 2013 Tracie rated it it was amazing
First, though I gave it a 5 star rating, this isn't a perfect book. This is why it earned this rating from me. Wonderfully believable, complex characters. I listened to the book and never once wanted to just be done with it. I thought the reader did a fab job. The story explores many of the ups and downs of life without ever getting preachy about it. Yes, it talks about 3 world countries and the appalling conditions, but never with the hit-you-over-the-head "you evil American with all your ...more
Wendy Hines
Jul 08, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it liked it
Since Hodgkins's disease is genetic, Sean grew up with the black cloud looming over his head. Determined to make his life matter, he spends his time helping others. However, when he gets the word that his aging aunt has dementia and needs help, Sean comes to the realization that at his age, he probably isn't going to get the life killing disease. He begins to wonder how much he has lost if he hadn't devoted his life to others.

When he arrives home, his aunt isn't in a good place - her disease is
Nov 25, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
This is a well-paced book about family and the ties that eventually bind. Sean is a middle-aged man who, over the course of a summer, finds his home where he least expects it -- at the home and hometown where he grew up. He returns after many years in third world countries working as a nurse, helping the truly helpless. A recurring back problem forces him to take some time off to recover and reconnect with his fractured family, a sister ready to take flight from the home that has trapped her,the ...more
Nov 08, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Juliette Fay brings us a sympathetic and interesting protagonist in Sean Doran, a man who thinks he's doomed to a midlife death from the genetic disorder that took his mother, but begins to wonder if that is perhaps not his fate. After years of working overseas as an RN in some of the neediest places in the world, Sean is called back to his hometown, to the fractured family he has kept at arm's length.
(What does he find when he returns home? Sorry but you'll have to read to find out.)
While not
Denise Gianelli
Oct 23, 2014 Denise Gianelli rated it really liked it
The Shortest Way Home is a novel about family, faith, forgiveness, love, job stress and how someone deals with the possibility of inheriting a disease from a parent. Sean, the main character, is a 44 year old Registered Nurse who returns home after many years nursing in third world countries. This novel reveals Sean's struggles dealing with many issues and making life decisions. It is a thought provoking read told from a man's point of view.
Audra Russell
Feb 11, 2013 Audra Russell rated it really liked it
It's funny how life brings us full circle to the things we try to run away from. The main character runs from the very thing he fears, only to find out it's the very thing he wants most. The range of emotions and the complexities of his relationships are beautifully written and very moving.
Oct 09, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. Though some might dismiss it as chick lit, it's way more than that. I learned about Huntington's disease, I became attached to the characters, and I liked that it was told from the point of a view of a man.
Dec 30, 2013 Lesley rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2013
It was a bit God-y so it took me a few chapters to get into it. Once I did, I liked the Unique storyline and how interesting the characters were. I'd definitely read more from this author.
Jen Reardon
Jun 10, 2013 Jen Reardon rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read - finished it in a weekend. Great story of reconnecting with family and resorting the priorities in your life.
Dec 06, 2016 Pearson, rated it liked it
Lovely recreational read!
Oct 27, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Captivating interesting read! All just a bit of what "life may throw at you!"
Nov 01, 2016 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Could not put it down. It was on a shelf at the library that it had not received much action. I picked it up and almost put it down since the print was small, the ink light and pale. I moved to a well lit room and could NOT putit down. Family, the human condition, and yes, love.
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Jan 14, 2013 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: almost everyone
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: FSB Associates
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

Look past the cover to find a down-to-earth, mildly spiritual (Catholic), yet contemporary look into the life a commitment-phobic middle aged male nurse. When he finds himself “home” for the first time in 20 years he is forced to decide what is truly important to him. With strong threads containing mental illness and disabilities, internal and external conflicts, sweet humor and more - it’s one of my favorite “uplifting” reads of the past year.

About: S
Feb 16, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-read
A very enjoyable book with characters that wrapped around my heart, drew my sympathy, and made me hope for the best; a happy ending! It seems that is what the author provided....leaving it open enough for a sequel perhaps! I'm hoping!! Either way, this book was a glimpse into another family's problems and issues. In my opinion, this is a book you don't want to miss!

FROM THE BACK OF BOOK: "Sean has spent twenty years in third world war zones and natural disaster areas, fully embracing what he'd
Dec 21, 2012 Stacie rated it liked it
One of the very first books I reviewed was SHELTER ME by Juliette Fay, which I loved. This book takes us back to Belham, but focuses on different characters. The characters, Janie and Tug from SHELTER ME are related to one of the side characters and are mentioned a few times in the book. Instead, this book focuses on a completely different family and set of circumstances.

At first I became really interested in this story and the characters. The personalities and quirks of the characters were well
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Juliette Fay’s latest novel, The Tumbling Turner Sisters (Simon & Schuster), recounts the adventures of a poverty-stricken family of four girls who try their hand as an acrobatic act in vaudeville in 1919. It was inspired by the life of her vaudevillian great-grandfather. Available now for pre-order; publication date: June 14.

Juliette has three previous novels. The Shortest Way Home was chosen
More about Juliette Fay...

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