Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Although I was not taken with this book, I completely understand how someone might be. I didn't seem to connect with the story in the way that it appears others have. I would even go so far as to say that I had to push my way through the book. I didn't feel myself connecting with the material so I was having to force myself through it at times.
Ultimately, this memoir was just ok for me. I can't even say that it was good. Yet, it doesn't feel bad, per se. Just nothing special. Nothing that really will stick with me once I put the book down.
Everything about this book had potential to hit me in the gut but it just seemed to fall short for me. I didn't connect with either of the women or their relationship. Neither of them or their journeys really came alive for me. The reading experience made feel as if I was watching a so-so movie that was constantly failing to make me FEEL anything. I'm reading about this intense friendship and the loss experienced by the author and just not feeling it. I should have been crying. I should have been devastated, given the events. Yet, I just wasn't feeling it. Which is simply disappointing and really made the reading of the book not particularly affecting.
Although there were small moments that I loved in the book - mostly thoughts on loss which spoke to me. Things that I wrote down to think about again later. One that comes to mind readily is Gail Caldwell's statement that "I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder, creatures." Wow. That really spoke to me. If only more of the book had spoken to me like those few sentiments. All in all, the writing and the language chosen just didn't do it for me. I felt it didn't live up to the events themselves. The events described in this book are amazing ... the way that these two women came together in friendship and changed each others lives so incredibly. That is fantastic ... however, the telling of those events in this book just missed the mark for me. I'm sorry that I didn't love it as so many others have.
I recommend it if you want to read about an intense friendship, one that is pretty amazing. I recommend it if you've lost someone special to you as there are great things in this memoir about loss and grieving. The bottom line is that most people that I know who have read it really loved it. Perhaps you will as well ...
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