Meet The Grogans
Before there was Marley, there was a gleefully mischievous boy navigating his way through the seismic social upheaval of the 1960’s. On the one side were his loving but comically traditional parents, whose expectations were clear. On the other side were his neighborhood pals and all the misdeeds that followed. The more young John tried 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.
As soon as I heard that John Grogan had written another memoir I just knew I had to read it! Marley & Me holds a strong place in my top 5 memoirs of all time list – and not just because it’s about a funky, feisty freak-ball of a dog. I will admit that the canine focus was what drew me in, but what made Marley & Me such a beloved book of mine was the voice of John himself. He could have been writing about mudpies and I’d have been honestly enthralled. Grogans’ writing is so real, so down to earth, he really does have a talent for telling tales.
Admittedly, I was a little hesitant about reading The Longest Trip Home, because it wasn’t a memoir about a dog, and maybe the (unfamiliar to me) topic of religion scared me a little. But my desire to learn about how John Grogan came to be the man he is, was too strong to resist. From his first memoir you get to see who he is, but with The Longest Trip Home the reader learns about how he got there. At this point I’d just like to point out that although the subject matter is different, these two memoirs together make an excellent reading experience, and it really makes no difference what order they are read in. They compliment one another no matter how they’re read.
Humor seems to be a huge part of what makes reading John Grogans’ work so enjoyable. Much of this memoir focuses on the difficulties that arise when your own personal life choices don’t mesh so well with that of your parents. In John’s case, he never quite saw eye-to-eye with his parents regarding religion. That’s a pretty tough subject to tackle, and in another writer’s hands it could result in a dryer story. However, the writing here is the perfect balance of serious thought and laughable anecdotes. But the joking style is never overdone. Instead it is a thoughtful look at the struggles of developing your own inherent identity, dealing with the pressure of familial expectations, and learning how to walk that line that makes a person part of a family, while still being their own person.
The Longest Trip Home is another brilliant life story from Grogan, one that I enjoyed reading as much as Marley & Me, despite the more serious issues being presented. Hopefully, we will be seeing more from this author soon – I just know a memoir about his experiences with parenthood would be a gem!
About The Author
John Grogan 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.
Other TLC Blog Tour Stops
|Thanks so much to Trish at TLC Book Tours for giving |
me the opportunity to host a stop on this tour!
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