Ten Minutes from Home: Book summary and reviews of Ten Minutes from Home by Beth Greenfield

Ten Minutes from Home

A Memoir

By Beth Greenfield

Ten Minutes from Home
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2010,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

Ten Minutes from Home is the poignant account of how a suburban New Jersey family struggles to come together after being shattered by tragedy.

In this searing, sparely written, and surprisingly wry memoir, Beth Greenfield shares what happens in 1982 when, as a twelve-year-old, she survives a drunk-driving accident that kills her younger brother Adam and best friend Kristin. As the benign concerns of adolescence are re­placed by crushing guilt and grief, Beth searches for hope and support in some likely and not-so-likely places (General Hospital, a kindly rabbi, the bottom of a keg), eventually discovering that while life is fragile, love doesn’t have to be.

Ten Minutes from Home exquisitely captures both the heartache of lost innocence and the solace of strength and survival.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This is a book filled with heart. A courageous book. A necessary book. Greenfield’s story is a testament to love, to family, and to survival." - Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals
 
"With language poetic and spare, Beth Greenfield mines the tragedies of her life with a humble grace. I kept thinking Mary Karr was channeling Hemingway while reading Ten Minutes from Home, and yet Greenfield’s hard-earned voice is all her own—witty, courageous, close-to-the-bone." - Kevin Sessums, author of Mississippi Sissy
 
"In Ten Minutes from Home, Beth Greenfield beautifully captures the lonely, complex territory of grief while staying true to the perspective of a young girl. This memoir of a family shattered by loss is also a story of resilience and the power of language." - Elizabeth Graver, author of The Honey Thief
 
"With acute, loving attention, Beth Greenfield shows us how the living, transformed by grief, stagger back toward a renewed life." - Mark Doty, author of Dog Years
 
"A stunning achievement. ... This memoir, so astute, clear-eyed, and deeply affecting, is as brave as it is beautiful." - Richard McCann, author of Mother of Sorrows

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
Ten Minutes from Home by Beth Greenfield
This memoir, written through the eyes of a young girl and eventually a young woman, evoked considerable emotion on the part of this reviewer. Having had a dear friend go through a similar situation this past year, made this book an arduous read. Greenfield handles this topic of incredible sorrow with lyricism and poise that made a difficult subject bearable. "Ten Minutes from Home" takes you through Beth’s feelings of tragedy, remorse, hope, courage, and finally ends with a peace she so richly deserves...yes, even when we don't expect it, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Lynne B. (S. Lake Tahoe, CA)
Ten Minutes from Home
This book stirs your emotions in a way that not many books usually do. I found myself feeling a lot of the pain that Beth and her family were experiencing through the excellent characterization and description of their emotional state. This is a book especially for those who want to try and understand the feelings of loss that people might have following the death of a loved one. Beth clearly describes the difficulties of dealing with not only the loss but the possible guilt of being a survivor and feeling responsible for providing support to other family members and friends suffering from the same loss. I have always felt uncomfortable in talking to someone who has suffered a deep loss and through Beth's book I think I will have a better understanding of how to respond. I would also like to commend Beth Greenfield on being able to put this painful memory into a story that can help not only herself but other people in similar situations see the way to recovery.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Deborah H. (Waco, TX)
Ten Minutes from Home
Beth Greenfield's first book relives the summer of loss following the death of her younger brother and her best friend. Their whole family is unable to grieve and morn, each one shutting out the other members. In the introduction, we meet Kiki, the author's partner, and throug out the book you are left wondering if and when we will discover the author's sexual preference leaving the reader a bit confused.
This book might appeal to young adults who are also dealing with grief and loss .

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Kimberli M. (Jessup, MD)
Written Like Fiction
I really enjoyed this book. While I knew it was a memoir, the book flowed like a fiction novel. It really explored what happens to families after tragedy strikes. It was really interesting to see how those involved dealt with the tragedy and continued with their lives. I would definitely recommend this book. I also think it would be an interesting book for a book club.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Marti F. (Coralville, IA)
Ten Minutes From Home
As the title says, the author was ten minutes from her home when, at 12 years old, she was involved in a car crash which killed her younger brother and also her best friend. She herself was injured and spent some months recuperating. The author does an excellent job describing poignantly and openly how these deaths affected her as she navigated her way through junior high and high school. She also relates some of how her parents grieved and how that affected the family dynamics. I found the book to be very moving and interesting. I only wish that I knew how the author is doing today, how this event is playing out in her adult life. I would definitely recommend this book as valuable reading.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Donna L. (Woodstock, MD)
Left me wanting more...
Beth Geenfield delivers a raw and honest memoir that I enjoyed reading for both its story and style. Similar to the Glass Castle, I feel that the author lets you into places in her life that are so amazingly personal (yet told as a story, not an autobiography) that you can almost feel apart of it. This left me crying at times, but as others have mentioned, wanting more at the end. Her story ended a little early but I don't feel like it takes away from what she gave us.

...16 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

Beth Greenfield has written about travel, entertainment, gay culture, and parenting for publications including the New York Times, Lonely Planet, Out, Time Out New York Kids, and Time Out New York, where she is currently a staff editor. She lives in New York City and Provincetown. You can visit Beth at www.BethGreenfield.com

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