Beth's Reviews > Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship

Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
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's review
Jul 20, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

If you were a fan of Caroline Knapp, her writing, or both, you will want to read this.

Caldwell, her best friend, has much to add to the story of Knapp, who died very young.

I came to Knapp as many did through Drinking: A Love Story, one of the very few excellent memoirs published at the beginning of the modern memoir craze in the 1990s. Knapp's journalist's view of her problems and triumphs is separate from most of the indulgence we've become used to in memoir. Caldwell, also a journalist, tells her story in lovely prose but with the inborn skepticism of a journo, albeit one who loves her subject and has been laid low by the passing of her friend and their friendship.

Her mourning is palpable and important, and you can feel her adriftness at the loss of the person she saw most, spent the most time with, and shared most over the period of a decade. The critical place womens' best friendships hold is thoroughly examined, but also treated with respect as an institution. These are women not BFFs, a refreshing neighborhood to visit.

Of particular interest to single, independent women, Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship leaves a lasting impression, just as Knapp herself did. It makes me want to adopt a dog and take a walk in the woods. And learn to scull. Gail Caldwell, Let's Take the Long Way Home A Memoir of Friendship
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