I'm excited to welcome you to the Book Blog Tour of The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan. Grogan's novel, Marley & Me, about his dog Marley and the early years of his marriage was an international bestseller. In The Longest Trip Home, Grogan shares the events and adventures from his childhood to the present.
Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous boy navigating his way through the seismic social upheaval of the 1960s. On the one side were his loving but comically traditional parents, whose expectations were clear. On the other were his neighborhood pals and all the misdeeds that followed. The more young John tired to straddle these two worlds, the more spectacularly, and hilariously he failed. Told with Grogan's trademark humor and affection, The Longest Trip Home is the story of one son's journey into adulthood to claim his place in the world. It is a story of faith and reconciliation, breaking away and finding the way home again, and learning in the end that a family's love will triumph over its differences.
I hadn't yet read Marley & Me, I found The Longest Trip Home to be a wonderful introduction to John Grogan's narrative voice.
Grogan is sympathetic, funny and witty as he shares the anecdotes and the milestones in his life. We first meet Grogan as a six-year old being woken up in the morning by his mother with a feather duster, surrounded by his siblings. With affection and love, he shares the particular nuances of his childhood as he was raised by deeply Catholic (with icons, pilgrimages, and faith), principled and loving parents. The institution of the Catholic Church and its teachings were a large part of his life from his childhood as an altar boy and in parochial schools to the discussions that he had with his parents when he and Jenny started living together before marriage. John shares how he balanced respecting his parents' faith and his own beliefs and how at all times they respected his individuality and his independence. It is a story of love, respect, and growing up. Skillfully done, The Longest Trip Home is an enjoyable glimpse into a well lived lives full of humor, affection and adventure.
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 13, 2009), 352 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours.
About the Author:
John Grogin has spent more than twenty-five years as a newspaper journalist, most recently as metropolitan columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is the author of the #1 international bestseller Marley & Me, and lives in the Pennsylvania countryside with his wife, Jenny, and their three children.
Thanks so much to John Grogan, Trish and TLC Book Tours for this review opportunity!