The Year in Books | April 2016


First a few words about March’s book The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down by Andrew McCarthy. Yes that Andrew McCarthy, he of the Brat Pack fame, brooding Kevin from St Elmo’s Fire, swoonsome Blaine from Pretty in Pink. Him. These days, although Andrew still acts and directs he’s made a name for himself as a travel writer and is currently editor-at large for National Geographic Traveller magazine. With credits like that I was bound to be in for a great read, and I can tell you that I was not disappointed.

The Longest Way Home is part travel journal and part memoir and it is wholly honest. McCarthy travels through some very different countries describing his journeys and environments with such skill that at times I felt I was standing right there next to him. He is a natural storyteller.

He is searingly honest about the major relationships in his life – his father, his children, his ex wife and his fiancee. By his own admissions he is avoiding commitment and never feels he can truly give himself to his family, despite really wanting to. This is perfectly illustrated when, in the run up to his wedding, he accepts several successive jobs to far flung countries, leaving the ever-patient D to look after the kids and plan a wedding abroad. I found myself wondering where D found the grace and patience to deal with this and how come she wasn’t falling apart at the seams (perhaps she was?). And yet while to some McCarthy might have come across as self-indulgent and perhaps even selfish, I felt that he was just trying to find the best version of himself. And *spoiler alert* because he was able to to do that, this love story has a happy ending. Thank goodness for that – my heart would’ve broken if I’d found out that McCarthy was really a plonker all along!

So what’s in store for April? Well I’ve had The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion  sitting on my to be read (tbr) pile for some time now. I fancy something a little more light-hearted so I think this will be just the thing.


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