The Long Way Home
Dunne, Mar 30 2010, $25.99
Claire Barrington loves her Scottish stepfather Leo Barclay who is her only living relative besides her spouse Art. So when Leo suffers a stroke, Claire accompanied by Art leaves New York’s East Village and their restaurant Barrington’s to help Leo recuperate. However, the man she adores and who has called her daughter for years making her feel good about life is not the same as he is no longer capable of caring for himself.
Claire prefers to arrange things as much as possible so Leo can remain home; Art suggests they buy the estate and establish a conference center while building a nearby cottage for Leo to reside in. The vultures arrive with plans and schemes. Marcus and Charity, his children from his first marriage who never forgave their dad for marrying Claire’s mom and raising her; want him placed in a home so they can sell the place. Claire’s childhood friend Jonas Fairweather suggests a public auction to raise money for Leo’s care. Remaining competent, Leo chooses Jonas’ concept, but Claire distrusts her friend’s motive when another bidder surfaces who she assumes will want to tear down the place and replace it with a major development.
The story line is an entertaining look at how relatives act when a beloved elderly family member becomes too ill to care for themselves, but remains mentally competent. Leo is the terrific focus of the rest of key players as each has different ideas re his future. Although his malicious offspring and the contriving scheming childhood friend never come across as more than as more than one dimensional boors, fans will enjoy the three way fight as Claire and Art want the best for Leo while hurtful Marcus, horrid Charity, and opportunistic Jonas want the best for themselves.