Title: The Long and Winding Road
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 11, 2017
Page Count: 346
Reviewed by: Renee
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.
And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.
There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.
There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.
There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.
As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.
Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.
It’s sad and bittersweet day to close the final chapter in this story. Saying goodbye to any couple is never easy, but saying good bye to the entire crew of this series is especially hard.
Bear, Otter, and the Kid was one of my first MM reads, a “classic” if you will. I had no idea it would turn into what it became. I never imagined I’d like Ty’s book more than the first two, but I did. The Art of Breathing can still make me cry after my sixth read.
We left off Book 3 with the surprise knowledge of twins coming, a sister needing a home, and Ty moving back into the Green Monstrosity after finishing college.
Book 4 doesn’t pick up there, though. At least, not at first. Book 4 is divided into three sections – Past, Present, and Future. The Past isn’t a “redo”, however. It takes us, through Bear’s POV, of what really happened with Ty’s drug use, for example. That was never experienced in Book 3, just mentioned. So it was definitely new material.
There could’ve been epic level angst here, but TJ toned it down a bit. And I was glad for it. These people have been through enough. It’s time to settle.
Book 4 won’t be the most memorable. TJ did too good a job with the first three books and their level of Wookie Cry Face. But it’s the one where I smiled the most. It’s the one that wrapped my heart in a warm blanket.
It brought closure. And that’s what it was meant for.
The present and future parts of this book felt like a long epilogue for the series. I am profoundly happy with the way Klune ended the series. I’m sad to see this family go, of course. But it’s time.