Like many others, I was interested in Margaret Robison's book because I have read "Running with Scissors" by her son, Augusten Burroughs and "Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's" by her son John Elder Robison. I looked forward to "The Long Journey Home" because I hoped it might answer the questions that I had from reading about her from her sons' viewpoints. What could possibly have happened to her in her life to make her behave in the way that she did? I wanted to understand her side of things.
After reading her memoir, however, I like her even less. Rather than a flowing, chronological story, the random vignettes were organized choppily. I found myself often thinking, "Huh? How did we get here?" when starting a new section, and re-reading the previous paragraphs for a clue as to when we changed time and place (I never found one-the changes were very non-sequitur).
Fifty pages in, I was bored. Margaret wrote about minor childhood events as though they were cataclysmic; a crack in a Thanksgiving platter, her mother too busy pushing her new baby brother in a stroller to look at a drawing Margaret had done, receiving a doll for Christmas when she envied her brother's train. Inane, frivolous musings that failed to inspire any compassion or sympathy in me for Margaret.
Truth be told, I couldn't finish the book. For me, this says a lot because I rarely abandon a book no matter how bad it is. I'm always hoping the writer will redeem themselves on the next page, or the next page. With "The Long Journey Home", I just couldn't bring myself to care enough to keep reading.