kdowpdxwisco, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by kdowpdxwisco)
Gail Caldwell comes to us with a raw, emotional recount of what it's like to have a best friend say goodbye far before her time due to an almost unexpectedly short battle with lung cancer. This story, though, is less about loss and more about the triumphant life these two shared together as soulmates and confidants. Their friendship teaches us that the importance of relationships is not just in having them, but in developing them with the people that complement us best.
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Geri Whitten, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Geri Whitten)
Gail Caldwell writes a beautiful story of a friendship. Friends like these are rare. Fans of Gail Caldwell and Caroline Knapp will be delighted and if you are not a fan of these amazing women, you will be. I met them through their writing separately and what a delight to find they knew and loved each other. I am honored to know this part of their stories. Huge thanks to Gail Caldwell for sharing what had to be a difficult story to tell.
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Bookwomyn, December 4, 2010 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
If you are lucky, you have a best friend. If you have a best friend (or had one at one time) this little book will bring back sweet memories of the relationship. Gail writes of her friendship with Caroline Knapp - her best friend. It takes a lot of courage to open up and bare one's soul to another - but it's necessary if one is to cultivate a close relationship. Having a best friend is more intimate than marriage I think - but just as rewarding. A best friend can help you through all sorts of trauma - but when your best friend dies, a part of you dies also. Gail's best friend does die and her book is part of the grieving process. It's a wonderful, touching story - one that you will not soon forget.
Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
0 stars -
Random House -
by Mary Jo,
On the surface it seems so simple: two women, two dogs, and one friendship. The dogs bring them together, but the friendship quickly becomes a force that sustains and nurtures them both. Caldwell's prose shines like afternoon sun hitting the water.
by Mary Jo
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Caldwell (A Strong West Wind) has managed to do the inexpressible in this quiet, fierce work: create a memorable offering of love to her best friend, Caroline Knapp, the writer (Drinking: A Love Story) who died of lung cancer at age 42 in 2002. The two met in the mid-1990s: 'Finding Caroline was like placing a personal ad for an imaginary friend, then having her show up at your door funnier and better than you had conceived.' Both single, writers (Caldwell was then book critic for the Boston Globe), and living alone in the Cambridge area, the two women bonded over their dog runs in Fresh Pond Reservoir, traded lessons in rowing (Knapp's sport) and swimming (Caldwell's), and shared stories, clothes, and general life support as best friends. Moreover, both had stopped drinking at age 33 (Caldwell was eight years older than her friend); both had survived early traumas (Caldwell had had polio as a child; Knapp had suffered anorexia). Their attachment to each other was deeply, mutually satisfying, as Caldwell describes: 'Caroline and I coaxed each other into the light.' Yet Knapp's health began to falter in March 2002, with stagefour lung cancer diagnosed; by June she had died. Caldwell is unflinching in depicting her friend's last days, although her own grief nearly undid her; she writes of this desolating time with tremendously moving grace. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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