Let’s Take the Long Way Home

I just finished Gail Caldwell’s memoir Let’s Take the Long Way Home(Random House, 2010). It is a book about two friends, and one of the friends dies, and it is sad. I didn’t spoil anything, the death is mentioned on the first page.

Both women are writers. Both women are addicted to alcohol but are sober. Both are obsessed with their dogs. Both are introverts. The one who died, Caroline Knapp, is the author of a memoir titled, Drinking: A Love Story. Now I suppose I have to go read that one as well! I’m always intrigued by stories of people who manage to triumph over addiction.

Above all, Let’s Take the Long Way Home is about female friendship. It’s about finding a friend you have everything in common with. And it’s also about unexpectedly losing her.

I read the book in less than 24 hours. It made me miss the intimacy of close female friendships. The kind where you call each other every day and know everything about each other. At this stage in my life I don’t have time for it. I love my friends but there’s not one of them I have the energy to talk to every day, nor them me. E-mail helps.

But I miss it. I didn’t realize how special it was when I had it. When I was single and unencumbered by the dude or the cute people.

This book reminded me how precious friendships are. And how precarious life is.

And yes, how totally healing it is to have a dog. I knew that, but it was nice to be reminded.

I can’t recommend Let’s Take the Long Way Home enough. It’s sad, but also life-affirming. Friendship affirming.

I loved it.

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9 Responses to Let’s Take the Long Way Home

  1. Sounds intriguing — thanks for the recommendation!

    I have to say that I DO have a coven of women friends, one of whom I talk to on the phone for nearly an hour every day. We live right around the corner from one another and often go walking or talk in the car as we’re doing all the shit we do. But I don’t know what I’d do without her.

  2. Carrie Link says:

    NECBM of friendship! I read DRINKING: A LOVE STORY years ago, now I’ll have to read this! Should I start blogging about all the good/bad TV I’ve been watching? Haven’t picked up a book since before Thanksgiving!!!

  3. Courtney says:

    I recommended this book to you two and a half years ago! (Look at your comment!): http://courtneywrites.livejournal.com/59861.html

  4. Michelle O'Neil says:

    That’s hilarious Courtney.

    I had no recollection when I stumbled upon it at the library. All in perfect timing I guess. I must say, that was a very sweet (and true) comment I left. LOL.

  5. kario says:

    I can’t wait to check it out. I feel the same way about girlfriends that you do. I had one like that when Eve was little, but she moved away and I have yet to find another one like it. I knew I was missing it and when I read Anna Quindlen’s “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake,” I was thrilled to read about her regaining that kind of friendship after her kids had grown. See? There’s hope yet…

  6. rhemashope says:

    Thank you for the recommendation. I look forward to reading it! I deeply miss the intimacy of a close female friend.

  7. Melly says:

    I’m doing sad right now, but I’ll note it for the future.

    I totally get what you are saying about close female friends. I’m lucky, I have a few here locally. But, my kindred spirits, the ones that I don’t have to explain myself to because they just know…they live half a continent away and I miss them terribly.

  8. Melly says:

    I’m NOT doing sad right now, that should have said.

  9. Laurel says:

    WOW – Timing.
    For some reason I ‘lost’ your blog on my list….. and then I ‘found’ you again and then I read this post and it speaks to me soooo much regarding friendships and now I have my kindle out to buy another book! But have to finish Carrie’s first!

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