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Another Way Home

John Thorndike

John Thorndike met his wife, Clarisa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador. They fell in love, married, and had a son, Janir. But soon Clarisa began a painful slide into schizophrenia, and John realized that the only way to protect Janir was to take him away from his mother. 


So begins this new, second edition of Another Way Home, a poignant memoir of single parenthood from a father’s perspective. John must find his way through the trials of child-rearing without a partner: the long nights and all-consuming days, the loneliness and confusion. But he knows as well the delights of living with, and looking after, a son he deeply loves. 

In the face of a mysterious and terrifying illness, this is also the story of a family trying to maintain some kind of togetherness. Torn between his commitment to keep Clarisa a part of Janir’s life and the threat she posed to that life, John acknowledges that he can care for his son in ways he never could for Clarisa. All who have experienced the wrench of mental illness in the family will recognize their own journey in this heartfelt story of fatherhood.

This second edition includes an afterword by Janir, written when his mother was still alive, and a second afterword in which John describes his earliest years with Clarisa, before her actions turned dangerous.

Another Way Home - Cover

Paperback ISBN: 979-8-9866069-4-1

Ebook ISBN: 979-8-9866069-5-8

Acclaim for Another Way Home

“A beautifully written and haunting memoir” —Publishers Weekly

“ The young Janir leaps off the page, willful and giving, sullen and sweet”

—The Chicago Tribune

“The love is so palpable, so sugar-free and recognizable, it makes the heart ache.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“A burning, beautiful memoir, rich in anecdote and character” —Natalie Goldberg, author of Wild Mind and Three Simple Lines

“The directness, the honesty, the terrible plain chant of the narrative stunned me”

—Doris Grumbach, author of Coming into the End Zone

Author John Thorndike

John Thorndike grew up in New England, graduated from Harvard, took an MA from Columbia, then lit out for Latin America. He spent two years in the Peace Corps in El Salvador and two, with his wife and child, on a back-country farm in Chile. Eventually he settled with his son in Athens, Ohio, where for ten years his day job was farming. Then it was construction. His first two books were novels, followed by a memoir, Another Way Home, about his wife’s schizophrenia and his life as a single parent. A second memoir, The Last of His Mind, describes his father’s year-long descent into Alzheimer’s.

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