The Shortest Way Home {Review and Giveaway}

by Jennifer Donovan

I loved this book. I loved it from start to finish, front cover to last word. The Shortest Way Home is a book that brought me great satisfaction while reading it — pulling at my heartstrings in just the right way, and engaging me into these wonderfully written characters.

Sean Doran is an irascible, committed yet unrooted kind of guy. For the last 20 years he’s been working as a nurse giving humanitarian aid in various places around the globe, yet neglecting his own family back home in Massachusetts. When he finally returns for a visit after a 6 year absence, he notices his aunt who raised him for most of his life is starting to have memory problems. His nephew Kevin, who she and his sister took in when his father died, is now 11 and seems to be sort of raising himself.

Sean once felt a calling to his profession, an obligation to take his life and make something good of it, but he’s now feeling lost. It seems he’s dodged the Huntington’s disease genetic bullet that took his mother before she even reached his age. He always assumed he’d die in his 30′s, but the idea of living a full normal lifespan has him at a crossroads.

Does he have it in him to really live — instead of living like he’s dying? Returning home and connecting with old friends and family forces him to examine his life and take a good hard look at who hes been and who he wants to be.

Each and every character in The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay grew beyond the stereotype into wonderfully imperfect lovable people. Issues such as fatal genetic diseases, physical deformities, infertility, abandonment and more are obstacles that these characters face and are shaping them into who they are. Fay handles these issues with a delicate touch. They are all grave issues, yet she didn’t overplay them. At almost 400 pages, this is a relatively long women’s fiction novel, but I would have gladly stayed in this world for 400 more.

Check out my post over at 5 Minutes for Books to see some other books that gave me this same feeling and satisfaction.

And take a moment here to use the Rafflecopter to enter to win your own copy of this book. I will announce TWO winners in our book review and giveaway column right here on November 12.

The Winner of Walk with Me is Benita. Fierce Women is still open for another week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

View all articles by

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily October 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I’m a Nomad! Love to travel!


2 Matty October 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Book sounds awesome! I would love it!


3 Simon October 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I think my wife would really like this book.


4 Chelsea October 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm

we’re deeply rooted (my husband and I)


5 Jessica T October 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Deeply rooted. VERY deeply!


6 Cassandra October 29, 2012 at 2:17 am

Both? I’m very much a homebody most of the time. But occasionally I get this huge itch to travel. My family moved a LOT when I was growing up so it’s weird for me to stay in the same place for years. We just moved to Washington from Arizona but I was in Arizona for 13 years. Before that, I lived in numerous different states. Now, I mostly stay close to home but visit family around the country at least once a year. That seems to take care of my travel itch.

Sounds like a good story!


7 K.Pugh October 29, 2012 at 7:30 am

I’m a nomad.
Thanks for the chance.


8 angie October 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

I have deep roots but love to move about. I have always considered myself a nomad or a person with a gypsy heart as I have deep roots in a few different areas and seem to travel among them


9 ellie October 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

I am deeply rooted. Thanks for this giveaway.


10 Juliette Fay October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

Wow, Jennifer — what a lovely, thoughtful review! I’m so glad you liked it and grateful to you for sharing it with your readers.


11 Idaho Jill October 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

both – I love being at home, but also love to travel. I have lived in 3 different states, so maybe more of a nomad?


12 Susan P. October 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I’m both! I love to travel and see new places but have lived in the same house for 32 years.


13 Sandra K321 October 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I’m pretty much rooted right here. I live within 45 minutes of where I was born and grew up.


14 Joy October 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I am deeply rooted. I want to be around my friends and family as long as possible.


15 Marjorie October 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm

A nomad for a longtime and now a home body. I prefer the nomad life.


16 Beth C October 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

We are deeply rooted.


17 DEBIJOT October 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I am deeply rooted.


18 Linda Kish October 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I’m pretty well rooted.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


19 Daniel M October 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm

deeply rooted but want to be a nomad


20 nannypanpan October 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm
21 Cindy B October 30, 2012 at 12:11 am

Definitely a nomad!


22 Shari October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

Can I be a little bit of both? I do love to travel, to see new places, but I’m very much rooted in home, too, and need to have one place to which to return! :)


23 Lori D. October 30, 2012 at 12:16 pm

There’s no place like coming back home.


24 Cindi October 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I am very deeply rooted, but find myself wanting to become
nomadic, the older that I get!
Many thanks, Cindi


25 Garrett October 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

I’m a little of both I guess.


26 Amy M October 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I am deeply rooted. :)


27 Chuck November 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

I’d have to say that I’m very rooted.


28 Staci A November 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Definitely am deeply rooted.


29 benita November 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I’m very deeply rooted.



30 Jen N November 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Deeply Rooted- love home and family time.


31 Don November 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Taking a trip somewhere else is always nice, but getting back home has it’s perks as well.


32 samantha w November 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm

a little of both I guess


33 Angie November 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I’m more Deeply Rooted.


34 Ruth Hill November 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

I am well-rooted.


35 Michelle H November 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Well, I don’t live in my hometown or near related family—but we are still very close and talk almost daily. So I would go with well-rooted.


36 Susan S. November 5, 2012 at 9:48 am

Definitely deeply rooted. Although my roots aren’t where they want to be right now. Maybe some day.


37 Anita Yancey November 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I use to be a nomad when I was young, but now that I have grand children I am deeply rooted.



38 Sharon November 6, 2012 at 6:55 am

I’d love to read this book. I read Shelter me and loved it.


39 Sharon November 6, 2012 at 6:55 am

I am deeply rooted.


40 June November 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

I guess I am a deeply rooted person.


41 Angela E. November 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

I like to travel and go places when I can afford it ofcourse, but getting back home is always nice.


42 Van November 8, 2012 at 11:41 am

I am one of those deeply rooted people also.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: