Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
“I think TV and movies have taught us all to make this production out of how we’re damaged goods and no one will ever love us. You know what you are? You’re a human being. You have good days and bad days. All your feelings are normal. And if the people you’re around now don’t treat you right, you’ll have opportunities to go other places and meet other people.”
Dresden Marich is going through the world, observing, listening, and very carefully interacting. He’s not your typical boy, doesn’t fit any bill for the kid who suffered childhood trauma, who went through a great loss, or who failed out of school because he just didn’t care. Those things all have stereotypes, and he fits none of them.
Maybe he’s a little broken, maybe a lot, but that’s okay. Or so Caleb Harview tells him. A chance meeting brings them together, and through their time Dresden begins to learn a lot – not simply about himself or the world, but about the intricacies of human life. But there’s still so much more out there, and running is so easy. He’ll have to decide where he wants to be and where he wants to go.
I think he feels all the right things. I think the world is so full of people who are scared and alone, and maybe that guy who tried to save me from being kidnapped is right—nobody helps. So I’ll change that. I’ll love harder and make a fool of myself. I’ll try to be braver, because nobody just floats through life. We all get banged up. I’m going to find the right person to show what’s under the skin, how deep the scars go. Because there’s no way being wounded should be a lonely business.
Have you ever maybe watched one of those shows on HGTV, where people are touring a house that’s old, with these little details of a life lived, and a small arch that has so much character, and the people sigh and smile and say “how charming” – despite the possible mold in the bathroom, the cracks running down the walls, or the water stain from a rainstorm twenty years before? That’s kind of how I’d describe this book – surprisingly charming.
For a lot of the book I was very uncomfortable. As a social worker, I find myself especially attuned to certain things, and this entire book screamed at me. A lot of Dresden’s thoughts were disconnected, jumbled at times, and occasionally shockingly morbid. It made me ache, wish I could just soothe some of the constant chaos in his head. But then I grew to appreciate it, because if there’s one thing is it, it’s honest. And perhaps it’s partially that honesty that made me so damned uncomfortable.
Take the Long Way Home approaches sensitive subjects and throws the idea of being politically correct completely out the window. It dares to push the lines that we as a society has built and make you question things you never even thought of before. Even if you read it and hated it, I can’t see you not wondering for even just a moment “why?” – why does he think that? Why does that happen? Who could do that? Do people really think like that?
But what I don’t understand is, where were we going, the two of us? Because maybe I loved him. But it’s hard to imagine him feeling that way about someone like me. Although, if you limited who you could love to people who weren’t broken, you’d never love anyone. Or you’d love an idea of a person. It takes nothing to say you love someone. But it takes a stupid kind of courage to actually do it.
This book is so different from any other thing I’ve ever read. As I said before, Dresden’s thoughts come across as disconnected at times, and for some that could make the reading feel choppy. But for me, once I connected with the character, once I began to really move with him and feel with him, it all made so much more sense.
The characters are deep and flawed, and I appreciate how well thought out they are. You didn’t just have Baby Kate to have her, she played a role. And even those who weren’t actually in the book, but who were remembered, such as Dresden’s father, had such a life.
So this story is a little twisted, brutally honest, deep when you don’t want it to be, and daring. It’s not for everyone, but I can say it’s one of those books you just have to read for yourself.
Unfortunately, I am not a fan of the cover art by Dar Albert. The models look plastic and fake and I’d actually prefer the cover without them even on it. It has a nice base, but that’s all lost with the models.
ebook, 225 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
original titleTake the Long Way Home