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Authors: Juliette Fay

The Shortest Way Home

BOOK: The Shortest Way Home
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PENGUIN BOOKS

The Shortest Way Home

JULIETTE FAY
’s first novel,
Shelter Me,
was a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award Book of the Year. Her second novel,
Deep Down True,
was short-listed for the Women’s Fiction Award by the American Library Association. She received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children.
The Shortest Way Home
is her third novel.

 

 

Praise for
The Shortest Way Home

“With trademark wit and grace, Juliette Fay portrays a man forced to rescue his family as he reaches for his own freedom. She keeps you turning the pages, even as you want to stop and admire her writing.”

—Randy Susan Meyers, author of
The Murderer’s Daughters

“Insightful, funny, and tenderhearted . . . full of truths about family, falling in love, and finding out who we are meant to be.”

—Amy Hatvany, author of
Best Kept Secret
and
Outside the Lines


The Shortest Way Home
is Juliette Fay’s best yet and shows us that loving the people in your life can be as exciting, as daring, as difficult an adventure as any.”

—Marisa de los Santos,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Falling Together
and
Love Walked In

“A touching and engrossing story about the lengths to which we’ll go to avoid where we’re meant to be, and the way the heart leads us gently back.”

—Nichole Bernier, author of
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.


The Shortest Way Home
is full of heart and of understanding about the often awkward collection we call ‘family.’ ”

—Meg Waite Clayton, bestselling author of
The Wednesday Sisters

“If you’ve ever thought you or anyone in your family might be just a bit less than perfect, read this book.”

—Nancy Thayer, author of
Summer Breeze

“A smart, sincere look at the meaning of home, the complicated nature of family ties, and how the things we run from are often what we need the most.”

—Allie Larkin, author of
Why Can’t I Be You


The Shortest Way Home
is as complex and full of surprises as the well-examined life. This is one beautiful novel, rich with depth and heart.”

—Julianna Baggott, bestselling author of
Pure

“Heartfelt . . . Juliette Fay does a wonderful job creating this quirky, lovable cast of characters finding their way in life and love.”

—Shilpi Somaya Gowda,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Secret Daughter

“Powerful, beautifully written, and at times heartbreaking . . . a meditation on the impossibility and the inevitability of finding our way home.”

—Julie Buxbaum, author of
After You

 

THE

Shortest

Way Home

Juliette Fay

 

PENGUIN BOOKS

PENGUIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA • ,

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) •  Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England •  Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) •  Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) •  Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India •  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) •  Penguin Books, Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North 2193, South Africa •  Penguin China, B7 Jaiming Center, 27 East Third Ring Road North, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published in Penguin Books 2012

Copyright © Juliette Fay, 2012

All rights reserved

A Pamela Dorman / Penguin Book

Publisher’s Note

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA

Fay, Juliette.

The shortest way home / Juliette Fay.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-1-101-60366-6

1. Huntington’s chorea—Fiction. 2. Brothers and sisters—Fiction. 3. Interpersonal relations—Fiction. 4. Domestic fiction. 5. Psychological fiction. Title.

PS3606.A95S56 2013

813'.6—dc23 2012025149

Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Contents

Praise

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Author’s Note

Acknowledgements

Epigraph

 

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

CHAPTER 44

CHAPTER 45

CHAPTER 46

CHAPTER 47

CHAPTER 48

CHAPTER 49

CHAPTER 50

CHAPTER 51

CHAPTER 52

CHAPTER 53

CHAPTER 54

CHAPTER 55

CHAPTER 56

CHAPTER 57

CHAPTER 58

 

Excerpt from Deep Down True

For my sisters, Jennifer Dacey Allen and Kristen Dacey Iwai, beautiful inside and out

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Both Huntington’s disease and sensory processing disorder are conditions with fairly broad ranges of symptoms and challenges. Though I researched extensively, this story is not meant to be a comprehensive review of either subject nor to represent the entire gamut of experience. I hope readers will find the depictions in this novel to be plausible, interesting, and enlightening. For more information, here are two of the many resources I found to be helpful: Huntington’s Disease Society of America http://www.hdsa.org and Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation http://www.sinetwork.org.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I first learned of Huntington’s disease many years ago from my then-housemate, Susan Koehler Arsenault, and I’ve been pondering it ever since. I’m grateful for her openness about facing this terrifying disease over the course of her life, including her mother’s diagnosis, growing up with that loss coupled with the uncertainty of her own status, getting tested, and adjusting to life as a noncarrier but with a sibling who does have HD. This story owes a debt of gratitude to her.

Many thanks to Jennifer Allen and Megan Lucier for sharing their experiences of parenting children with sensory processing issues. Dr. Julia VanRooyen of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Women in War project gave me intriguing, heart-wrenching information about her work in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bridget Anderson and Jeremy Colangelo-Bryan also provided information from their Kenyan experiences. Karen Maguire offered wonderful stories and insights from her career as a massage therapist. Betsy Gemmell Steinberg, RN, gave me the inside scoop on nursing—and so much more—in a middle school setting. I only wish I could have included more from my interviews with these fascinating folks.

This novel has benefited greatly from the close inspection, careful reflection, and sound recommendations of talented writers, readers, and friends: Nichole Bernier, Alison Bullock, Kathy Crowley, Kristen Iwai, Megan Lucier, Randy Susan Meyers, and Catherine Toro-McCue. Eagle Scout Liam Fay gave me the thumbs-up on my depiction of scouting.

Keiji and Kristen Iwai produced another wonderful book trailer to introduce readers to
The Shortest Way Home
. Take a look at
www.juliettefay.com. Julia Tanen continues to share her impressive public relations and marketing know-how.

It’s a huge delight to be working with editor Pamela Dorman, associate editor Julie Miesionczek, assistant editor Kristen O’Toole, and the great team at Viking Penguin again. In addition to superior editorial acumen, their faith and vision mean the world to me. My agent, Theresa Park, has already given me a lifetime of good advice. I’m grateful for her brilliant mind, her friendship, and her team at Park Literary: Peter Knapp, Abigail Koons, and Emily Sweet.

The muses in my life are five great blessings who inspire me daily: Quinn, Nick, Liam, Brianna, and Tom Fay. Who says writers have to be unhappy, tortured souls? If it were true I could never write a word, thanks to them.

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.

—J
AMES
J
OYCE
,
Ulysses

CHAPTER 1

W
hen the plane took off, Sean didn’t experience that exhilarating liftoff surge he usually got when his body, mind, and soul were ejected into the earth’s atmosphere. This flight was no prelude to the next adventure. In fact, it was adventure’s negative image. It was an anti-adventure. He was going home.

High in the whispery layers of cloud above the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sean had a moment of regret. Maybe he shouldn’t have left. Maybe if he’d just hung in there a little longer, the burnout he’d been feeling would’ve worked itself out—and maybe the knots in his back would’ve followed suit.

A miraculous healing of mind and latissimus dorsi
. He chuckled at the thought, and at his own sudden nostalgia for the hardest, most heartbreaking stint he’d ever taken on. Not that he disliked his work. In fact, he loved it. Recently, though, his plan for his life, his very vision of himself, seemed to be coming unraveled. Threads popping, holes gaping like a poorly constructed sweater. And he had no idea what to do about it.

BOOK: The Shortest Way Home
12.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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