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Review – The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir

October 3, 2008

John Grogan is the youngest of Richard and Ruth Grogan’s four children.  The Grogans were devoted to each other and their Catholic religion.  In The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir, John shares what it was like to grow up in this wonderful family.  I laughed through the first half of the book as I read about his childhood exploits –  setting off fireworks in a neighbor’s yard; sneaking peeks at his father’s photography magazines to see topless women; learning to smoke cigarettes, etc. – because his writing reminded me of what it’s like to be young.

The middle of the book made me smile.  After college, John met and fell in love with a woman who was not Catholic.  His parents found this difficult to begin with, but learned to accept it.  John’s relationship with his wife forced him to be more honest with his parents and show them the man he is, and not the man he thought they wanted him to be.

I sobbed through the last part of this book as John and his siblings cared for their aging parents and coped with their father’s death.  This part of the book is a very moving tribute to his parents.

I adored this book.  Maybe it’s because I am about the same age as John and I remember the times he describes while growing up.  Maybe it’s because my parents are older and my sister and I are beginning to face some of the things John and his siblings did.  Or, maybe it’s just because it’s a wonderful book.  The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir is published by William Morrow and will be released on October 21.  This book is part of my Fall Into Reading Challenge.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2008 8:24 am

    I have this book and your review makes me want to read it!

  2. October 3, 2008 8:32 am

    I’m so glad to hear it’s wonderful…it’s on my reading calendar in the next couple weeks, and since I’m the last person on earth who hasn’t read Marley & Me, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

  3. October 3, 2008 8:51 am

    I’d love to read this book. I’ll have to add it to my list. My husband and I listed to the audiobook of “Marley & Me” on a long trip last year. He got a kick out of me bawling my eyes out all the way home. Grogan is great at stirring emotions.

  4. October 3, 2008 10:45 am

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I still haven’t read Marley & Me. This one sounds good too.

  5. October 3, 2008 10:53 am

    I’m another who hasn’t read Marley & Me.

    I have The Longest Trip Home and your review is very enticing Kathy. I love reading about strong Catholic families.

  6. Kim permalink
    October 3, 2008 11:06 am

    This review is really good, I want to read this book now (since I love memoirs!). I’m going to look for it when it comes out.

  7. October 3, 2008 5:29 pm

    no…I am the last one that has not read Marley and Me yet. But my niece recommended it so highly that I bought it…just have not read it. Now I will have to get this one too! {{I will buy no more books…I will buy no more books…}}

  8. October 3, 2008 6:19 pm

    This sounds really cute, but I’m on a memoir moratorium right now, so I’m going to skip it for awhile.

    I’ve just discovered you, and I like what I see (and read). I’ll be doing some blog updating this weekend and I’ll be adding you to my blogroll and bloglines feeds. You’ll be hearing much more from me in the future, whether you want to or not!

  9. October 4, 2008 8:09 am

    Great review!! I’m not a huge memoir junkie, but every once and a while one catches my interest 🙂

  10. October 4, 2008 12:26 pm

    A book that brings makes me feel right along with the characters–real or imagined–is always a winner. This does sound like a good one. I will have to add it to my wish list. Thanks for the review!

  11. October 6, 2008 9:11 pm

    This is definitely a memoir I’ll be keeping an eye on. I’m with Shana on enjoying reading about good Catholics. There’s so much negative out there.

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