Let's Take the Long Way Home

A Memoir of Friendship
Narrated by: Joyce Bean
Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
4 out of 5 stars (183 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In Let's Take the Long Way Home, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gail Caldwell offers a powerful and moving memoir about her coming-of-age in mid-life and her extraordinary friendship with Caroline Knapp, the author of Drinking: A Love Story.

In her younger years, Caldwell defined herself by rebellion and independence, a passion for books, and an aversion to intimacy and a distrust of others. Then, while living in Cambridge in her early 40s, Caldwell adopted a rambunctious puppy named Clementine. On one of their bucolic walks, she met Caroline and her dog, Lucille, and both women's lives changed forever.

Though they are more different than alike, these two fiercely private, independent women quickly relax into a friendship more profound than either of them expected, a friendship that will thrive on their shared secrets, including parallel struggles with alcoholism and loneliness. They grow increasingly inseparable until, in 2003, Caroline is diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.

In her signature exquisite prose, Caldwell mines the deepest levels of devotion and grief in this wise and affecting account about losing her best friend. Let's Take the Long Way Home is also a celebration of life and all the little moments worth cherishing - and affirms why Gail Caldwell is rightly praised as one of our bravest and most honest literary voices.

©2010 Gail Caldwell (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“Stunning...a book of such crystalline truth that it makes the heart ache.” ( The Boston Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    39
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Uniquely wonderful book

This is one of the best-written and most powerfully moving books I have read in a long time. Unfortunately, the narrator does not meet this high quality, reading so fast and with so little emotion that I imagined her in the recording studio rushing to finish her task before lunchtime. In spite of this challenge, this book unquestionably deserves five stars.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Devastatingly beautiful and superbly written

Gail Caldwell is obviously a very talented writer and her descriptions of loss and grief are unbelievably well and creatively described. I was moved to tears many times, and was constantly surprised by the tale which takes so many different turns despite the knowledge that Caroline would die. The pace of the tale and non-linear time line were seamless and very enjoyable. I didn't want it to end.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

My Story

I loved every word of this book. I've been there, done it, even to a Rottweiler attack on my standard poodle while we walked. I have an extraordinary circle of women friends who watch my back, love me and tell me the truth. From one Texas gal to another, I am a fan of Gail Caldwell. Her voice is my voice...Thank you.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Please, please pronounce the words correctly!

A marvelous, heartrending book with which any dog loving, friend valuing woman will resonate. However, the illusion that we are being read to by the author or omniscient narrator was SHATTERED at a most significant moment when Angel Memorial, the well known animal hospital in Boston, was mispronounced "Angle". Oh, come on, this is important material trivialized by the lack of connection implied by mispronunciation. Few books avoid this problem but this was so important and in such a significant place in the story. This is a plea that all readers and producers of audio books make the effort to know what they read.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written

Any additional comments?

This is a familiar story of friendship and loss. What makes it special is the author's way with words. Her narrative is so beautiful that I would find myself rewinding just to listen again to the words flow through my ears like music. Although I almost never reread a book, I may buy the text just so I can savor the language more thoroughly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Welcomed Surprise

A very easy listen. A heartful very well written story that I could relate to especially from a dear friend's recent news and our own bond. I actually really liked the narrator as her character (voice) seemed to be almost as matter of factly, earnest and strong as the women. The parts about each person's addiction and how they went through that journey was really well interlaced into the entire story. Well done.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Raw & honest

The author gave words to a variety of emotions I’ve experienced after losing my husband, my great love. It hurts, yet it heals.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking

I listened to the audible version as I packed up my house of twenty years. It was exactly what I needed; reminding us that we all will eventually die, some much sooner than others. Although there are heartbreaking matters in the book, I ultimately found it uplifting. Perhaps I was in the mood for such a book, but I did enjoy it and recommend it for fellow dog lovers.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I LOVE THIS BOOK!

I first read caroline's books and fell in love with her. found these books and fell in love with Gail!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Uplifting! Brave!

This was a beautiful uplifting story about friendship and love and Dogs! Beautiful story loved the authors realism.