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Long Way Home: A Young Man Lost in the System and the Two Women Who Found Him | [Laura Caldwell]

Long Way Home: A Young Man Lost in the System and the Two Women Who Found Him

Nineteen-year-old Jovan Mosley, a good kid from one of Chicago's very bad neighborhoods, was coerced into confessing to a crime he didn't commit. Charged with murder, he spent five years and eight months in a prison for violent criminals. Without a trial. Jovan grew up on the rough streets of Chicago's Southeast Side. With one brother dead of HIV complications, another in jail for arson and murder, and most kids his age in gangs, Jovan struggled to be different. Until his arrest, he was.
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Publisher's Summary

Nineteen-year-old Jovan Mosley, a good kid from one of Chicago's very bad neighborhoods, was coerced into confessing to a crime he didn't commit. Charged with murder, he spent five years and eight months in a prison for violent criminals. Without a trial.

Jovan grew up on the rough streets of Chicago's Southeast Side. With one brother dead of HIV complications, another in jail for arson and murder, and most kids his age in gangs, Jovan struggled to be different. Until his arrest, he was. He excelled in school, dreamed of being a lawyer, and had been accepted to Ohio State. Then on August 6, 1999, Jovan witnessed a fight that would result in a man's death. Six months later, he was arrested, cruelly questioned, and forced into a confession.

Sent to a holding jail for violent criminals, he tried ceaselessly to get a trial so he could argue his case. He studied what casework he could, rigorously questioning his public defenders. But time after time his case was shoved aside. Amiable, bright, and peaceable, he struggled to stay alive in prison. As the years ground on, he'd begun to lose hope when, by chance, he met Catharine O'Daniel, a successful criminal defense lawyer. Although nearly all cases with a signed confession result in a conviction, she was so moved by him, and so convinced of his innocence, that Cathy accepted Jovan as her first pro bono client. Cathy asked Laura Caldwell to join her and together they battled for Jovan's exoneration.

Here is Laura's firsthand account of their remarkable journey.This is a harrowing true story about justice, friendship, failure, and success. A breakdown of the justice system sent a nice kid to one of the nation's nastiest jails for nearly six years without a trial. It would take a triumph of human kindness, ingenuity, and legal jousting to give Jovan even a fighting chance.

Deeply affecting, Long Way Home is a remarkable story of how change can happen even in a flawed system and of how friendship can emanate from the most unexpected places.

©2010 Story Avenue LLC (P)2011 Story Avenue LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (101 )
5 star
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4.4 (89 )
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4.0 (89 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ginger Heyman Pigott California 03-04-13
    Ginger Heyman Pigott California 03-04-13 Member Since 2012

    GingerP

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    Story
    "Compelling and important"
    What made the experience of listening to Long Way Home the most enjoyable?

    The story was compelling both in and of itself and as told by the author. The fact that it was non-fiction underscored the importance of the story. Jovan is portrayed in a very real and human way and his story is made all the more scary in how the system can fall down.


    What does Laura Caldwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Laura as author and narrator brings a vibrancy to the story. Her relationship with the experience is conveyed subtly and does not overpower the story/narration but does suffuse it with a sense of her own point of view and urgency.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marci portland, OR, United States 04-17-13
    Marci portland, OR, United States 04-17-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    Story
    "Look passed the flaws--It's a great story"

    This true story is so good. It's heart warming, suspenseful, and sobering. You can feel the love and respect that the author has for the main character and it makes you love him too. The store moves along nicely, it's easy to follow, it's a well told, good story.
    With that said, be prepared for some flaws. The author is the narrator and the narration starts out just awful. She warms up and gets better, but the first couple chapters are almost unbearable. There are small errors too, she mispronounces a couple of key words and she usually talks about herself with "I" or "me" but will occasionally refer to herself as "Laura" which is confusing. Don't let the amateurish moments take away from this great story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader USA 04-20-13
    Reader USA 04-20-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Much better than expected"

    A riveting story of what probably is a routine type case. Police looking for "numbers" do shoddy work and send an innocent young man to jail. The legal side of the story and efforts to exonerate him are a well-told-tale.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gifts4444you Charleston, SC 04-16-13
    gifts4444you Charleston, SC 04-16-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Excellent story & narration!"
    What made the experience of listening to Long Way Home the most enjoyable?

    I work best when I have an excellent audio book & this one was riveting. It not only held my attention I just couldn't put it down. To my surprise Laura Caldwell did a great job with narration. Most authors just can't pull narration off Miss Caldwell nailed it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Catharine O'Daniel the author did a great job illustrating Mrs. O'Daniel's energy, talent and drive for law


    Any additional comments?

    SIDE note to Miss Caldwell PLEASE PLEASE write a book about Catharine O'Daniel. I need to know what makes her tick. I will order it today!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 02-09-14
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2012
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    Story
    "Gripping Story, Needs Different Narration"

    I listened to this on audio, which I do not recommend. The author is the narrator and this is one example of why authors don't necessarily make good narrators. Despite being close to the events, the narration was monotone. Also, it's told from the author's perspective but there were some points where she was referred to in the third person. It may be clear in printed form that the point of view had changed, but it was not clear in audio.

    That being said, the story was excellent! It is an interesting and heart wrenching story of what happened to Jovan: the glaring problems with the penal system in this case, information about false/forced confessions; and courtroom tactics. As someone who works in the area of civil rights, I am not surprised that these kinds of things still happen, but am appalled that they do. I am surprised that I had not heard of his story before; it seems like this should been plastered all over the court tv shows and internet. I feel awful for Jovan, his family and the family of Mr. Howard Thomas - none of this should ever have happened.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margareta Gothenburg, Sweden 08-18-13
    Margareta Gothenburg, Sweden 08-18-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    Story
    "Chocking story about 6 lost years"
    Would you listen to Long Way Home again? Why?

    Listening once was good enough.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The unbelievable story of how bad the judicial system works in Chicago.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    First I thought the narrator was all too unprofessional. But then I realized this was a true story and told by one of the participants. That made quite a difference and it was suddenly OK listening to the rather flat voice.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Don't believe innocence will save you!


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the book, but when I bought it a thought a bought a novel. I don't understand why it wasn't presented as a documentary.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LMS Massachusetts 07-19-13
    LMS Massachusetts 07-19-13 Member Since 2010

    LMS

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful non-fiction.....needs new narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I think this book would be best in hardcover. Laura Caldwell wrote an amazing story and succeeds to show all of us that a little kindness goes a long way. Unfortunately, Laura Caldwell has a drone-like tone with zero inflection. I found myself drifting and having to rewind. I had to concentrate very hard to keep my focus on the story.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    None


    Would you be willing to try another one of Laura Caldwell’s performances?

    No


    If you could give Long Way Home a new subtitle, what would it be?

    "The true story of a young man's life cheated by the justice system "


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Medina, Ohio, United States 05-27-13
    Ann Medina, Ohio, United States 05-27-13 Member Since 2003
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    "Unbelievable!"
    What did you love best about Long Way Home?

    The story is both horrifying and inspirational.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The endurance of the human spirit and the generosity of the two lawyers who worked pro bono on the case.


    What about Laura Caldwell’s performance did you like?

    I mainly was caught up by the story, not the performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole story was moving and frequently had me close to tears.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Apple Valley, MN, United States 05-09-13
    Cathy Apple Valley, MN, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent, Heart wrenching true story."
    What made the experience of listening to Long Way Home the most enjoyable?

    This was a very hard book to listen to. Although it is a wonderful story it is hard to listen to the wrongs done to this young man. I would get so frustrated listening to the story I would almost come to tears.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Long Way Home?

    The strength that Jovan was able to show throughout the story. He would get down but pull himself right back up.


    Any additional comments?

    The first couple chapters of the book was poorly written and took a very long time to grab my interest. But hang in there, it get better. I almost quit listening but stuck with it and so very glad I did. It is an excellent story and makes us even more aware of the wrongs done in our justice system. Corruption still exists and probably always will. A handful of very bad cops sadly reflects on all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn Modbury, Australia 07-11-14
    Robyn Modbury, Australia 07-11-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    "a different kind of horror story"

    This is a compelling book in many ways: the tragedy of years lost from the life of a promising and very likeable young man, the glimpse it provides of the process from the point of arrest by police, the brutality of the prison system, the legal system in which a case can stagnate, the incompetence of many professionals, day-to-day life in prison. There appears to be little or no hope until the chance meeting which eventually sees the wronged young man released to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. The role played by the two lawyers is heartwarming, as is his mother's dedication and the support of friends who help him as he begins to put together a new life. The section dealing with research on false confessions and other related matters helps to explain what happens to individuals who are caught up in the system: the accused, those who investigate, and the lawyers who prosecute and defend.

    Laura Caldwell is an excellent writer but I initially found her rather monotone delivery off-putting. But before long I felt that it suited the matter-of-fact business-like nature of her work. I agree with other commenters that the third person/first person inconsistency is confusing: it just shouldn't happen - where were the editors? However, that is my only criticism and I found the book rivetting from start to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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