Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.
And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.
There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.
There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.
There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.
As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.
Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.
Saying goodbye is hard...
Like so many of you, I've been waiting for The Long and Winding Road for a long long time. Long before we knew it would really be written. Long before we knew the title. Long before now.
I'm sad, you know? This family -- Bear, Otter, Ty, Dominic, Creed, Anna, Mrs Paquinn (may she rest in peace) -- are the family that any of us would be lucky to call ours. No matter what, you know they will have your back. No matter what, they accept you. That's what family really is, you know? The people that really, truly have your back. They don't have to be blood related, they only have to be the ones that hold you up when you can't stand on your own. The ones that share in your joys and your sorrows. They're the ones that matter.
But back to the sadness. The Long and Winding Road feels bittersweet. I feel conflicted, because I couldn't wait to read this book, but also, I didn't want their story to end. I can't have both and that...well...you know what I'm trying to say, I think.
The Long and Winding Road, as TJ said in his blog post, is broken up into three parts -- Past, Present, Future. And although we know about certain events that take place in the Past part, none of it actually feels rehashed. That's quite the feat, in my opinion. I've never been a fan of reading the same story from a different character's perspective so I was looking forward to seeing how TJ would handle it. And he did it very well. You see, even in the previous book we don't see everything. So, in The Long and Winding Road we don't just get the same story from Bear's POV, we get pieces we've never even seen. And it was brilliantly done.
And the rest? Also brilliantly done. This whole journey, that started with Bear, Otter, and the Kid has finally come full circle. And I'm so damn happy to have ridden along and gotten to know this quirky, weird family of misfits. And I'm so damn sad to say goodbye.
There isn't a lot of angst in The Long and Winding Road, and there doesn't need to be. I mean, it's there, but TJ didn't ratchet it up to his usual levels. I still found myself tearing up at random moments just because this is it. This is the end of the road. I definitely cried at the end. I mean, how could I not? I'm tearing up just writing this review. And I love this family, through and through. There were funny moments, too -- Bear has come a long way, but he's not done with his EPIC freakouts and they really are a sight to behold. Also Ty is all grown up and wow...there's just so much.
I breathe and breathe and breathe.
If you love the first three books as much as I have, I suspect you're going to love this one, too. I don't want to say goodbye, no lie. But Bear, Otter, Ty, Dom and the rest of the gang will still be here. I'm not about to forget them or what they represent to me. Family.
Because family isn't always defined by blood.
It's defined by those who make us whole.
Those who make us who we are.
ARC for The Long and Winding Road was generously provided, by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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