Long Way Home by Laura Caldwell
A Young Man Lost in the System and the Two Women Who Found Him

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Synopsis


Nineteen-year-old Jovan Mosley, a good kid from one of Chicago’s very bad neighborhoods, was coerced into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. Charged with murder, he spent five years and eight months in a prison for violent criminals. Without a trial.

Jovan grew up on the rough streets of Chicago’s Southeast Side. With one brother dead of HIV complications, another in jail for arson and murder, and most kids his age in gangs, Jovan struggled to be different. Until his arrest, he was. He excelled in school, dreamed of being a lawyer, and had been accepted to Ohio State.

Then on August 6, 1999, Jovan witnessed a fight that would result in a man’s death. Six months later, he was arrested, cruelly questioned, and forced into a confession. Sent to a holding jail for violent criminals, he tried ceaselessly to get a trial so he could argue his case. He studied what casework he could, rigorously questioning his public defenders. But time after time his case was shoved aside. Amiable, bright, and peaceable, he struggled to stay alive in prison. As the years ground on, he’d begun to lose hope when, by chance, he met Catharine O’Daniel, a successful criminal defense lawyer. Although nearly all cases with a signed confession result in a conviction, she was so moved by him, and so convinced of his innocence, that Cathy accepted Jovan as her first pro bono client. Cathy asked Laura Caldwell to join her and together they battled for Jovan’s exoneration. Here is Laura’s firsthand account of their remarkable journey.

This is a harrowing true story about justice, friendship, failure, and success. A breakdown of the justice system sent a nice kid to one of the nation’s nastiest jails for nearly six years without a trial. It would take a triumph of human kindness, ingenuity, and legal jousting to give Jovan even a fighting chance.

Deeply affecting, Long Way Home is a remarkable story of how change can happen even in a flawed system and of how friendship can emanate from the most unexpected places.
 

About Laura Caldwell

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Laura Caldwell, a former trial lawyer, is currently a professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is the author of eleven novels and one non-fiction book. She is a nation-wide speaker and the founder of Life After Innocence, which helps innocent people begin their lives again after being wrongfully imprisoned. Laura has been published in thirteen languages and over twenty countries. To learn more, please visit www.lauracaldwell.com.
 
Published September 14, 2010 by Free Press. 324 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Crime, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Long Way Home

Kirkus Reviews

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Caldwell, then book-review editor for the Boston Globe, and Caroline Knapp, a columnist for the Boston Phoenix, connected in 1996, when their love of their dogs, Clementine and Lucille, brought them together in a meadow near Boston.

May 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Kirkus Reviews

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On Aug. 6, 1999, the college-bound Mosley, who had previously worked as a law clerk, was in the wrong place at the wrong time in a rough Chicago neighborhood.

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The New York Times

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What she learned from her research was not so much grim as bracing, articulated point-blank in her italicized notes: “There is no solace, and also, This has been going on a long time.” O’Rourke’s greatest amulet, of course, will be the mother herself, classic and eternal, “the shell,” as...

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

The New York Times

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The two women are laughing together, rolling around on the forest floor, attempting to train their dogs — “pack of four, we were, planting flags all over the province of our rearranged lives” — and Caldwell looks at Knapp and says, “You know — after all this, I don’t think that any man could ever...

Aug 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Publishers Weekly

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Caldwell (A Strong West Wind) has managed to do the inexpressible in this quiet, fierce work: create a memorable offering of love to her best friend, Caroline Knapp, the writer (Drinking: A Love Story) who died of lung cancer at age 42 in 2002.

May 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Examiner

As a result, Jovan was charged with death penalty murder and put in a county holding cell where he would spend nearly six years without a trial, waiting to defend his innocence.” Within a year, Caldwell would find herself alongside O'Daniel representing Mosley on charges of first degree murder.

Oct 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

The Globe and Mail

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Towards the end, after recounting Caroline's final 18 days in a coma, her death, the memorial service, the painful first year without her, the pathetic collection of memento mori (she still carries the keys to Caroline's house), Caldwell writes: "Yesterday I found a note I had written to myself, ...

Aug 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Los Angeles Times

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But I am consoled — and I hope Caldwell is too — by the notion that Knapp's words, her legacy, may yet help change someone's life.

Sep 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Christian Science Monitor

The chief heartache of Gail Caldwell’s love letter of a memoir, Let’s Take the Long Way Home, is also its main subject: The person she wrote it for will never be able to read it.

Aug 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

USA Today

But she also wrote Pack of Two (1998) on why people, including herself, are so attached to their dogs.And it was dogs not books that connected Knapp with book critic Gail Caldwell, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for her reviews at The Boston Globe .Theirs is "an old, old story: I had a fr...

Sep 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Oregon Live

A prolific journalist and critic, Phelps loved Salter's short novel "A Sport and a Pastime" and wrote Salter an admiring letter in 1969 that praised the book and two films Salter was involved with as writer ("Downhill Racer") and director ("Three").

Aug 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Lincoln Journal Star

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Caldwell writes, “Finding Caroline was like placing a personal ad for an imaginary friend, then having her show up at your door funnier and better than you had conceived.” Both women – about a decade apart in age – are passionate about writing and their dogs and have successfully dealt with al...

Aug 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Bookmarks Magazine

A former Boston Globe book critic and the recipient of a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, Gail Caldwell describes the extraordinary friendship she shared with fellow writer Caroline Knapp in her second memoir (after A Strong West Wind, 4 of 5 Stars Selection May/June 2006).

Aug 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Oprah.com

They "coaxed each other into the light," says journalist Caldwell in this moving tribute to her best friend, the late Caroline Knapp, author of Drinking: A Love Story and Pack of Two.

Dec 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

My San Antonio

Knapp's slow descent into a blur of IVs and radiation, chemotherapy and morphine drips is a hurry-up-and-wait prospect that leaves Caldwell and Knapp's siblings and Knapp's new husband Mark Morelli at a loss.

Sep 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Women's Voices for Change

How can a writer manage a book about the death of her best friend and a friendship that revolved around dogs, the shared history of recovery from alcoholism, and a deep mutual affinity for reclusive living, and yet have the volume avoid the pitfalls of maudlin sentimentality, false uplift, and si...

Sep 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

Statesman.com

You can shelve "Let's Take the Long Way Home," Gail Caldwell's beautifully written book about the best friend she lost to cancer in 2002, next to "The Year of Magical Thinking," Joan Didion's searing memoir about losing her husband to heart failure.

Oct 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

The Gainesville Sun

And that's where Jovan Mosley was after the police picked him up: wishing he'd never been witness to a murder.

Jan 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Long Way Home: A Young Man Lo...

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