From the Publisher
Take the long way home...
Full of big dreams of the fast life, Tallie Beck hit the road at the age of seventeen to become a rock 'n roll star-and vowed never to look back. Now, at thirty-four, she's little more than a down-and-out singer who smokes and drinks too much and knows better than to make promises she can't keep. Dumped by her latest band and low on cash, Tallie has no choice but to go back to Denver. Back to her crazy mother, and her resentful younger sister, Jane, who's never forgiven her for leaving.
But seeing her family again after all these years stirs something unexpected in Tallie. And after so many miles on that long, exhilarating, scary-and often lonely-road, she's looking back to trace some wrong turns, and figure out the way to where she really wants to go...
From the Author
I’ve been writing about my mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder, for most of my adult life, but this book was the first time I allowed myself to fictionalize the situation so that I could work it through to a different conclusion than real life provided. In a way, I suppose I started out looking to write a fairy tale to console myself: What if my mother had found a way to become healthy?
Tallie Beck is a 34-year-old washed-up, self-centered, rock-n-roll singer who has never grown up. Now she has to go home and face the music on several fronts. Her career is in tatters, her bank account is nonexistent, and the only job her agent can offer is in a piano bar in Denver, her hometown. Scornful but desperate, she buckles down--albeit with frequent rebellions--to a job where limits are set but where, paradoxically, she has the opportunity to grow. Meanwhile, she is also coping with family matters: a bipolar mother with a same-sex partner who happens to be Tallie's boss, an alienated sister, and a preteen niece looking for a role model. In the process, she reevaluates herself and those around her, learning to see them through more charitable and mature eyes. Painful to read but compelling, Shortridge's book chronicles the growing-up process from Tallie's perspective, providing a haunting inside look at the world of musicians on the edge between success and failure. Lynne Welch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Statesman Journal, November 16, 2003
Full of insight and dead-on wit, [Shortridge] morphs everyday language into something richly poetic. Sexy, edgy, and written with grace…