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The Long Goodbye Paperback – Bargain Price, September 27, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452286875
  • ASIN: B000VYIZB6
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ronald Reagan's youngest daughter, Davis is best known as a peace activist who forcefully disagreed with her father's policies. But this graceful memoir demonstrates that she is also a gifted writer. The focus of the journal-style book is her father's descent into Alzheimer's disease, but Davis deftly weaves family history and childhood memories into the surprisingly vibrant fabric of her story. The most startling aspect of this effort is its universality. Readers whose fathers have never held an elected office higher than president of their high school class will still be able to relate to these musings from a daughter who remembers her dad best for their ordinary moments together: swimming, riding horses or chatting about the flight paths of birds. Even though Davis calls Alzheimer's a "haunting presence in these pages," her message of love, loyalty and forgiveness manages to overshadow this "relentless pirate" of a disease. She recalls Reagan's peaceful acceptance of news that his beloved horse, Nancy D, had died: "His first response to death was to remember the beauty of the life that had passed. The memory comes when I find myself wondering, Where are you?" Davis's thoughtful and honest reflections make her father come to life again and should foster remembrances for readers as well. 2 photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

It's hard to know what Patti Davis would write about if she didn't have her family as fodder. Well, to be fair, she did write one novel, Bondage (1993), but other than that, it's pretty much been all Reagan. In her last book, Angels Don't Die (1995), she shared with readers her father's simple religious faith. Now, she recounts the toll Alzheimer's disease took on her family, as Ronald Reagan slipped slowly away. The book begins with Reagan's last days and then moves back in time to 1995-96, when it seemed her father might go sooner rather than later. It isn't that Davis can't write. Her prose can be both thoughtful and graceful. Certainly, her descriptions of the way Alzheimer's shreds lives are heartbreakingly vivid. But one feels uncomfortably like a voyeur as Davis puts on display the withering of the president as well as the frayed emotions of various family members, especially her mother. Perhaps if this were the first book Davis had written about her family, its messages about love, hope, and forgiveness might seem purer. Here, though, it's hard not be skeptical about why Davis is going to the well one more time. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I am a published author -- 8 books, mostly non-fiction. I find myself in the same situation many authors do these days. Getting publishers to say yes is really hard. Particularly with fiction. So I've dipped my toe into self-publishing with my new novel, Till Human Voices Wake Us. It made the rounds of publishing houses, garnered a lot of interest but no offers. I've written a lot about my famous family, the Reagans -- maybe this non-autobiographical novel was too much of a departure for publishers to wrap their heads around. But now there is KDP and the room to publish a book yourself. It's exciting to me -- a new era in publishing. Most writers have books they have labored over for years and long to put out into the world. Till Human Voices Wake Us is one of those books.

Customer Reviews

We love all books on Ronald Reagan, one of the greatest American presidents.
Jill Risko
I read this book on an airplane, unable to put it down, even though I couldn't help sobbing out loud during parts of it.
Kathleen K. Melonakos
Patti Davis does an excellent job explaining the disease with out invading her father's privacy.
K. saba

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By zanniegrannie on December 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Patti Davis writes beautiful, thoughtful prose. I was struck, though, by how little she revealed of her actual experiences with her father's condition. I found myself desperately trying to read between the lines to eke out a bit of substance.

One of the few telling habits Davis revealed is that both she and her mother stay in hotels whenever they visit the other's home cities, all the while claiming they have grown to be very close.

I also wish there had been an attempt to bridge the gap between 1996 and 2004. It was as if there were some sort of missing-time experience.

On the whole, the book reminded me of my mother-in-law's letters written to me from a distant state. They are largely long descriptive details of the daily weather and her excursions to nearby green nurseries. I would like to have learned more.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Karla L. Varga on April 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While I thought the book was well written, I was disappointed that more about the family's experience with Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's disease wasn't included. The title of the book is somewhat misleading, for that reason, in my opinion. The bulk of the book was more about the author's feelings and experiences than about her father's illness.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Leigh S. on November 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only healing, but beautifully written. Having lost my own father to a terminal illness years ago, I found myself deeply connecting to Ms. Davis' words and heartfelt journey. Reading this book gave me a sense of hope and renewed my own conviction that death ends a life, not a relationship. The pages of this book affirm the best and most inspirational parts of life, love and even, death. It is also a touching testament to Ronald Regan, the beloved man, father and United States President. I would highly recommend it.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen K. Melonakos on December 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
How silly for those other reviewers to say this book didn't include "the family's experience with Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's disease." Or that the book didn't say enough about Alzeimer's itself. What do they want, a medical book? There are plenty of those. This is the unique story that only Patti, with her special place in history could tell, of how her father's disease brought her and her family tremendous pain, yet spiritual growth, and actual blessings. In so doing, she points the way to how we can continue to learn, as Americans, and as human beings, from these gifted leaders, the Reagans. I loved another book about Ronald Reagan, "How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life," by Peter Robinson. It told what Mr. Robinson had observed and learned from President Reagan as a speechwriter in his administration. It is a good book, but this one is even better, because of the vantage point, and insights of the person writing it.

Ms. Davis is an unusually gifted writer, as her father was an unusually gifted speaker. I read this book on an airplane, unable to put it down, even though I couldn't help sobbing out loud during parts of it.

I can now understand how Ms. Davis, with her deep intelligence and passionate, poetic nature, felt (and feels) so strongly about her parents. She talks some about why she rebelled so angrily, yet I am still not sure I completely understand her motivations there. She said she was "mad at America," for 1)taking her father into public service and away from her and 2)for sending some of her young friends to be killed in the Vietnam War. She has now come to sorely regret many of her actions spawned by that anger.
Read more ›
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lorine E. Rohr on January 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Thank you Patti Davis for a beautiful and helpful book. I am a caregiver as my husband is midway into Alzheimers. I have read other books on the subject looking for help. This was the best. Pattie, you gave the best information to help one through this long ordeal. I would recommend this heart warming book to every caregiver in the world. Sure wish I could thank Ms. Davis personally. Lorine Rohr
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joy Schirmer on November 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book because I love anything to do with Ronald Reagan! Beautifully written! A sad but loving goodbye.
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By diane j. listy on July 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was hoping to find more info on dementia but was well written and touching
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was more about the author than Ronald. If I could return the book for a refund, I would.
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