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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About this book

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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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.

Mary J. (Scottsdale, AZ)

Painful but so worth it!
Anyone who has lost a loved one will relate to this book. It gives so much important information into the mind of a child dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. Read it and be so much better for it. I couldn't put it down.

RoseMary W. (Boardman, OH)

Ten Minutes from Home
This is a well-written and poignant account of a young girl's struggle dealing with tragedy and personal loss. It was very easy to read but hard not to feel the sadness as we read about Beth's experiences. I believe writing this memoir was therapeutic for Ms. Greenfield and only wish that she and her parents would have sought professional grief counseling as a family to help them deal with this tragedy.

Angela S. (Howell, MI)

Ten Minutes From Home
Ten Minutes from Home is a very enjoyable read even though the subject matter is tragic. It seems to be very honest and real, which a memoir should feel like. It gives an insightful glimpse into a family dealing with the unthinkable and the very different ways people deal with grief. I looked forward to reading it every chance I had and never once felt like it was an obligation.

Debbie (Jupiter, FL)

Ten Minutes from Home
Heartbreaking story of profound loss told courageously and honestly.
Through the quality of her writing and willingness to lay bare her deepest thoughts and feelings, Ms. Greenfield allows us to get close enough to truly grasp the pain of the devastating loss that both she and her parents suffered. She shows us how isolating and lonely the grieving process may be - particularly for a child.

Also, I was struck by how the roles of child and parent can become reversed when trying to cope with the aftermath of a tragedy. Throughout the story I was so moved (and sometimes saddened) by the level of maturity she was forced to display and by the insights she provided - about love, loneliness, friendship, grief, hope etc.

While her brother's and best friend's life was cut short prematurely, in so many ways, her own childhood ended at the moment of the impact as well.

Yet in the end, Ms. Greenfield demonstrates that with time and distance (both physical and emotional) one can find peace and forgiveness and hope...

Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)

Ten Minutes from Home
I enjoyed this book tremendously. Beth Greenfield gives us insights into her family struggling with the loss of a child/brother and best friend killed by a drunk driver. Greenfield shares her anger, sadness and guilt while trying to recover from this tragic event. She searches for normalcy, which eludes her. A well written book, that I would highly recommend.

...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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