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The Long Goodbye

(2004)
A non fiction book by

 
Ronald Reagan's daughter writes with a moving openness about losing her father to Alzheimer's disease. The simplicity with which she reveals the intensity, the rush, the flow of her feelings encompasses all the surprises and complexities that ambush us when death gradually, unstoppably invades life.

In The Long Goodbye, Patti Davis describes losing her father to Alzheimer's disease, saying goodbye in stages, helpless against the onslaught of a disease that steals what is most precious - a person's memory. "Alzheimer's," she writes, "snips away at the threads, a slow unraveling, a steady retreat; as a witness all you can do is watch, cry, and whisper a soft stream of goodbyes."

She writes of needing to be reunited at forty-two with her mother ("she had wept as much as I over our long, embittered war"), of regaining what they had spent decades demolishing; a truce was necessary to bring together a splintered family, a few weeks before her father released his letter telling the country and the world of his illness . . .

The author delves into her memories to touch her father again, to hear his voice, to keep alive the years she had with him.

She writes as if past and present were coming together, of her memories as a child, holding her father's hand, and as a young woman whose hand is being given away in marriage by her father . . . of her father teaching her to ride a bicycle, of the moment when he let her go and she went off on her own . . . of his teaching her the difference between a hawk and a buzzard . . . of the family summer vacations at a rented beach house - each of them tan, her father looking like the athlete he was, with a swimmer's broad shoulders and lean torso. . . . She writes of how her father never resisted solitude, in fact was born for it, of that strange reserve that made people reach for him. . . . She recalls him sitting at his desk, writing, staring out the window . . . and she writes about the toll of the disease itself, the look in her father's eyes, and her efforts to reel him back to her.

Moving . . . honest . . . an illuminating portrait of grief, of a man, a disease, and a woman and her father.

 
Used availability for Patti Davis's The Long Goodbye


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

November 2004 : USA Hardback
Title: The Long Goodbye
Author(s): Patti Davis
ISBN: 0-679-45092-0 / 978-0-679-45092-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 2004 : USA Hardback
Title: The Long Goodbye (Random House Large Print)
Author(s): Patti Davis
ISBN: 0-375-43477-1 / 978-0-375-43477-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

September 2005 : USA Paperback
Title: The Long Goodbye: Memories of My Father
Author(s): Patti Davis
ISBN: 0-452-28687-5 / 978-0-452-28687-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Plume
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

November 2004 : UK Audio edition
Title: The Long Goodbye
Author(s): Patti Davis
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   

November 2004 : USA Audio Cassette
Title: The Long Goodbye
Author(s): Patti Davis
ISBN: 0-7393-1852-7 / 978-0-7393-1852-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 2004 : USA Audio CD
Title: The Long Goodbye
Author(s): Patti Davis
ISBN: 0-7393-1853-5 / 978-0-7393-1853-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   

November 2004 : UK Audio edition
Title: The Long Goodbye
Author(s): Patti Davis
Publisher: Books on Tape
Availability: Amazon UK   

November 2004 : USA Audio CD
Title: The Long Goodbye
Author(s): Patti Davis
ISBN: 1-4159-0833-8 / 978-1-4159-0833-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Books on Tape
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

July 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: The Long Goodbye
Author(s): Patti Davis
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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