THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Juliette Fay
I am adding Juliette Fay to my list of favorite authors - I was late getting to bed because her new novel, THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, was so engrossing. It’s the story of a man who has been a nurse wherever he was needed all over the world, from Guatemala to Sri Lanka to the Congo. Finally, just as he finds himself feeling burnt out and with back pain he can no longer ignore, he gets a letter asking him to come home.
Sean has avoided going home for years, unwilling to face the problems there and aware that getting involved with his family might mean he has to stay. The family is Aunt Viv, who is getting more and more forgetful. His sister Deirdre, who wants her turn to get away. His nephew, Kevin, an orphan who needs someone to do more than clothe and feed him. And memories of his mother, who died from Huntington’s disease and left Sean, Deirdre and their brother Luke in Aunt Viv’s care. Sean doesn’t know if it would be better or worse to get tested and know if he has Huntington’s.
Sean gets pulled in by the needs of the family and finds himself being the shopper and the bill payer. He discovers that Kevin has has a sensory processing disorder and works with him on ways to cope. He meets a girl who pushes him to get tested for Huntington’s. And he has to decide between taking off again or staying around to be there for his family.
THE SHORTEST WAY HOME is different because Fay has chosen to tell the story from a male viewpoint and in my opinion she does it well. The only problem I had with the book was why didn’t see a doctor about his back! I recommend the book and am off to the library to look for Fay’s three previous books.
Juliette Fay's website is www.juliettefay.com
The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay. Penguin Group (USA), 2012. 9780143121916 (paperback reprint), 416p.