Roxann's Reviews > Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
by Gail Caldwell
by Gail Caldwell
Sep 29, 2010
Read in September, 2010
If I could give this an additional fractional star I would. Maybe 3.5 or 3.75. It has one of the best first lines I've ever read: "It's an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that, too." I was hooked, and that's what I wanted to read about: the memoir of friendship, and unbearable loss. That's all in there and is so good. But I was distracted by the long, long story of the author's struggle with, and recovery from alcoholism which had happened years and years before the friendship and seemed such a detour from the theme of the book. Is it just a coincidence that Caroline Knapp (best friend - deceased - of the book) was a recovered alcoholic and had written a well-received memoir of her struggle? I get it that this is something they had in common, that perhaps it brought them closer, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the lengthy diversion was some kind of writing competition with her dead friend. "Let's see who can write the best AA memoir?" I just wanted to hurry through that part to get to the REAL story. All that aside, the book is, in the end, a touching and lucid narrative of an amazing friendship and then of insufferable grief and loss. I thought it was beautifully written; not particularly raw - not difficult to read in that way - but never overly romanticized or euphemistic either. And it's the story of Gail Caldwell, the author, going on with her life with a hole rent through it. The last part deserves 4 stars.
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