Friday, November 16, 2012

Write Now: Review of Juliette Fay's The Shortest Way Home

In Juliette Fay's latest novel, The Shortest Way Home, Sean Doran has spent his adult life working as a nurse in third world countries. He has a 50% chance of having Huntington's Disease, a terminal illness that deteriorates the body and mind often striking a person during the prime of their life.

Knowing of this possibility, he chose a profession where he thought he could do the most good and this has been his life. But at 43 suffering only from the usual middle age ailments, he begins to realize that maybe he might not have the disease after all.

He returns home to find his Aunt Vivian suffering with early stages of dementia. His sister, Deidre has been caring for her as well as their nephew, Kevin, who is their deceased brother's only son.

Sean is at a crossroads in his life. Where does he go from here. At 43, he has no symptoms of the disease. Could he be one of the lucky ones? Does he want to return to nursing in foreign countries?

He reconnects with old friends, including some of the characters seen in Fay's earlier novel, Shelter Me. He reestablishes relationships with his family. And then the father who abandoned him returns hoping to be part of his life again.

The Shortest Way Home is a family drama dealing with the affects a debilitating disease has on a family. Fay gives her characters wonderful voices, especially Kevin, who at 11 is no longer a child, not yet a teenager, and has his own issues that he has managed to mask quite well.

My best friend, Lisa lost her mother to Huntington's, which meant she was at risk. I thought Fay's portrayal of what a person facing this possible death sentence goes through was right on target. I can't wait to hear what she has to say about the novel.

Sean is at a crossroads in his life, and so is every other character in the novel including the dog.

The Shortest Way Home will make you laugh and cry, but most of all it will warm your heart.

On Wednesday I was fortunate to get to meet Juliette in person at a luncheon hosted by Fiction Addiction. We've been on Facebook and Twitter, but it was really nice to get to meet her in real life.
Me with Juliette Fay


  1. Thank you so much for this lovely review, Connie. It was so nice to finally meet you in person!

  2. Thank you Juliette. My friend that we talked about is really enjoying the book. I'll let you know when she finishes.