Cover Image: The Way Back

The Way Back

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Member Reviews

Oh, what a touching story about life’s castaways banding together! 

Widower Robin Bentley loses home and savings to his conniving son and is forced to live in a nursing home. Completely depressed at first, he recovers his bearings and escapes to a seaside caravan park. There, he encounters a mean bull terrier, but the broken dog is more scared than fierce and ends up shadowing Robin, who takes it on as companion. Their sad twosome expands when an aged widow, a cat lady in a nearby caravan initially suspicious of the duo, joins them in friendship. So poignant and hopeful, with the loveliest illustrations. 5/5

Pub Date 28 Sep 2018.

Thanks to the author, Troubador Publishing Limited and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. 

#TheWayBack #NetGalley
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This is a story of one elderly man, who loses just about everything to his lying son and who ends up making a new life for himself after some fascinating trials and an interesting journey.  After losing everything, Robin Bentley becomes depressed, living in a home for the elderly. As his health improves, however, Robin finds the home confining and escapes.  During his escape, he encounters a tough-looking, street-wise bull-terrier, whom the police are searching for. Cleverly distracting the dog with food from his rucksack, Robin manages to keep going to his seaside destination, only to discover the dog is following him. Over time, Robin comes to accept and love the dog.  However, those who live around him wonder about this strange man and dog, who give rise to some alarm among them. The story weaves many interesting and fascinating trials and events that shape Robin and his new companion’s new life as it moves along to a fascinating ending.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The author writes exceptionally well.  The characters are well-done and caught my interest from the get-go. This is not like the books I regularly read, so it provided me a wonderful escape and the opportunity to experience something new, as well as the opportunity to see first-hand that helping others can help you. The themes of loneliness, despair, friendship and acceptance of whatever life throws at you really gave me a strong, good feeling. I think anyone who reads this book will love it as much as I did.  I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
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This was a really lovely story, pulled at the hear strings for me who works in aged care.
Robin, after loosing his wife and home, has a breakdown and after his son manages to take away his home and all he has, moves him into a Care Home for the elderly.  Robin looses himself and becomes depressed, feeling broken after being deceived by his son.

Over time he improves in his overall health and mentally, and decides that he cannot live where he is anymore, he decides he must escape.   

Brazenly he sneaks out of the home but in his way is a scary, battle-worn bull terrier, which is being hunted by the police. 

This frightens Robin to no end, and remembers food in his back pack and distracts the dogs attention.  Robin then hurries on the long walk to his planned hideaway at a seaside caravan park. 
But the beast of a dog follows him relentlessly. He curses his luck, but in time, realises the dog is a fellow fugitive and takes pity on it. At great sacrifice, he takes care of it and grows to love his ugly companion.

Together they make a home and befriend their elderly neighbour, a Chinese widow, living with her cat.  Along the way, they become good friends, and have ups and downs in health and joy and love of being near the sea.
Robin's son comes back and things take a good turn for the better.

A terrific book of love and companionship between people who wouldn't normally be drawn together.  Highly recommended.  Love it.
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I had read “Rosie” by the same author, and enjoyed it – an easy read about how a dog helped one man find his way back from grief at the loss of his wife. Well, this book has very similar themes…t is a charming story, and I found that I wanted to read more of it than my usual couple of pages a night…I was taking my Kindle to work and snatching a few minutes reading time over lunch.

It isn’t great literature, but the author captures the characters of both Robin and Lanying well, and tells their stories in an undramatic yet affecting way. I cared about both of them and wanted a happy ending for them. Butch and Bo, the two animals, also had their own characters.

I would recommend this book as a “cosy” read by the fireside, with a cup of your favourite brew. It made me feel good!

Lanying would often come out with Chinese sayings (I don’t know if they are “real” Chinese proverbs, but they have a ring of reality about them. The one which completes the book sums up the themes and feeling of the story:
If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap.
If you want to be happy for a day, go fishing.
If you want to be happy for a year, win a fortune.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime,care for someone.

An easy 4 star read
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A crusty senior citizen, who’s been duped by his son and lost everything, runs away from a nursing home to a trailer park by the sea.  On the road he’s adopted by a battle-scarred bull terrier and, once there, becomes fast friends with an elderly Chinese lady who has a cat and dispenses “Chinese” wisdom such as “The Yangtze will never run backward.”  Together they find the way back.  This is a short, Hallmark card kind of book that brings everything round right and neaty-tidy in the end.  To be blunt it is sugary sweet and pretty sappy, but, if you want a “feel good” read, it is what it is.

Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by Troubador Publishing Limited / Matador via NetGalley. I would like to thank the publisher and the author for providing me this opportunity. All opinions expressed herein are my own.
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Really pleasant and heart warming. An enjoyable read about an older man who escapes from his care home and sets up residence in a caravan with a stray he adopts.  He develops a lovely relationship with this dog.  He also gets to know his slightly mysterious neighbour and understand what brought her to the same place.
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If you want to be happy for a lifetime...
Mitfühlende Story mit vielen kleinen versteckten Wahrheiten. Sehr liebevoll geschrieben.
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I loved this book!  The author has written a wonderful story full of emotion.  The story is heartwarming and charming.   my friend us an administrator at an assisted living facility and I cant wait to get this book for her, she will love it.  I will definitely be putting Bill Whiting on my list of favorite authors.  Thank you netgalley for gifting me the arc of this amazing story.  The review is my honest opinion
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

This is my second book by this author, and I must say he has emotional fiction down to an art. Somehow he draws you in and makes you want only the best for all the characters involved, and this was definitely the case here with Robin and Butch. They start off so down, and you just want them to get a bit of luck. It's a simple story, but heartwarming and ultimately a satisfying read. 

Whether you choose this story or Rosie, the other book by this author, prepare for an emotional rollercoaster. Five stars!
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Robin feels life has kicked him in the teeth.  His wife has died in a household accident and his son has betrayed him and taken away everything he has earned in his long life.  Even his mind has deserted him as he flirts with insanity and depression.  In the sterile care facility where he lives, he feels ready to end it all.  In a last ditch attempt to find something, anything, worthwhile, he escapes over the fence only to be confronted by a mangy looking dog.
In an attempt to keep the dog from attacking, he feeds him a sandwich and then is horrified when the dog follows him to his “hideout”, a caravan by the sea.  It turns out that Butch, as he names his new partner, is the best thing that ever happened to him.  Because he opens his heart to others, he meets a lovely Chinese lady and her cat.  The four friends share both ups and down and form a deep bond.  Robin’s world may be less affluent than it was but it is so much richer in every other way.
When Robin’s heart is ready, another miracle occurs.  He and his son are reunited and the prodigal son brings all of them more joy and contentment than they could have hoped.  It is a lovely story of never giving up and finding hope and beauty in the least obvious of places.  I particularly loved the many Chinese philosophies that are expressed.  They have a unique way of putting the world in perspective.
The transformation of Robin from an angry bitter old man to someone full of promise and hope is inspiring.  The reader cannot help to be be moved by his journey.  The story will challenge your emotions but it will be worth it.
Five purrs and two paws up.
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The Way Back by Bill Whiting is a delightful contemporary bittersweet tale about friendship, life and true treasure.
The focus of the novel is on two characters in their seventies, an ugly dog and an independent cat. They are a wonderful set of individuals that complement each other. They all moved into my heart.
Written in the first person from a male point of view, I immediately felt empathy for his plight and completely at home with the open, frank, engaging style. With a major theme of loneliness and a feeling of being past his prime, the reader could be forgiven for thinking this may be a depressing read – but far from it. It was full of humor, insights into character and snatches of wisdom gained over a lifetime. Hopefulness rises in the form of an ugly, battle scarred mutt in need of a helping hand. “Hope had bought me to this place, and I was staring into the gnarled face of hopelessness.”
Animals focus on others. We would be wise to learn from them. Dogs want and give unconditional love. “No better gloom buster than Butch’s waggly tail.” Dogs see beyond themselves. Cats are more independent but both bring joy and a new focus. “Happy people never count the hours.”
True friendship is priceless. “A good friend is a true and priceless blessing.” A friend is a true friend when all they want is to sit and be with you, they are not with you for their gain. The novel has a beautiful friendship of two people both in their twilight years. They support each other, picking the other up when they are down.
An elderly Chinese lady brings much wisdom into life. “When the wind blows, don’t build a wall – build a windmill.” When trouble comes, and it will, we can always choose how we respond.
We must live in the present. “The past has gone and we don’t get two goes. But we can change the future.” Too many of us miss the moment because we focus on our past. Be fully present in the present.
The Way Back is beautifully written. It is a unique read and one that I will treasure. I love Bill Whiting’s style of writing and I adored his previous novel, Rosie. 
Give yourself a real treat – relax and unwind with The Way Back today, and reorganize your priorities.
I received this book for free from Net Galley. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own
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Not a usual book for me but i must say i did enjoy reading it and will be recommending it to friends well done 4*
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The story is so heart warming, with an escapee for an old people's home and his friendship with a Chinese window and a scrawny dog. 
An emotive read, highlighting the loneliness that people feel and how friendships can help both people.
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This is a book that will make you feel good. It made me feel warm inside. 
As much as it is about a dog (and a cat) who saves a person, it is about two people learning to live again as they enter their waning years.
I smiled over Robin's initial escape. Later we learn about his new neighbor's literal escape.
It is a story about betrayal and friendship and opening one's heart.
I wanted to take my time with this book because I did not want it to end.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read The Way Back.
Bill Whiting is a talented storyteller.
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This is a tale of sadness, hope and eventually happiness.

Robin is a widower who is conned out of his home by his son and as a result suffers from depression and ends up living in a care home.  He escapes and is befriend by an equally desperate dog on the run from the police, who think he is dangerous.

The story is of their adapting to each other and coping with what life throw at them.

I enjoyed this story as it shows whatever your situation, don't be afraid of doing anything different and take a change on lifes events.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it.
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A heartwarming, lovely and moving book. I found it moving and  enjoyable at same time.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
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I really enjoyed Rosie, so jumped at the chance to read this book by the same author and I have to say it was equally brilliant, a heartwarming adventure for an elderly gentleman! This time the person escaping from a care home is Robin Bentley. He’s a widower who lost his home and all his savings to his son, Peter, leaving Robin depressed and feeling imprisoned. He plots his escape carefully, saving up cash to take with him as he journeys to stay in a seaside caravan. However, he certainly didn’t anticipate being joined on his travels by a frightening looking bull terrier who he calls Butch! As the two start their new adventure together it is a story of healing, reconnecting with life and forming a new friendship which gives meaning to existence.

It has great characters, lots of love and humour and is a superb, easy read that has an ending that will have you smiling. The homilies and quotes from the elderly Chinese lady, Lanying Hu, in the neighbouring caravan are snippets of wisdom for everyone. The The philosophy of the story is summarised at the end:

If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap.
If you want to be happy for a day, go fishing.
If you want to be happy for a year, win a fortune.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, care for someone.

What a great philosophy - hope you are all happy and care for someone! The final chapters show how love can help others change and there's a fantastic surprise for both Robin and Lanying courtesy of Robin's son! This is a fantastic story, really hope you get to read it and that you enjoy it as much as I did.

I requested and was given a copy of this book, via NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
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His wife has died, his son lives far away, and he hates living alone.  When his son asks him to invest some money in a new enterprise, he does.  When it fails, he loses his house.  So he has to go to a nursing home...

Troubador Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you). It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up.  Now I'm getting older and see some signs on me that I saw on them.  (Wrinkles for example.)  I enjoy chatting with older people, they always have interesting stories. The old man featured in this tale has an interesting story, too.

He's to the point of considering suicide when he decides to run away from the home.  He'll find himself a place to stay (he could always camp) and he'll figure out how to make it on his own.  He has saved up money, checked where the cameras and guards are and he readies himself to make his escape.

The first obstacle he runs into is a dog who appears to be aggressive.  He feeds him the sandwiches he had packed for himself and almost runs away.  The dog follows but he's limping and not moving fast.  When he gets to the caravan park, he pays for the one he rented and moves in with his few belongings.  Soon the dog shows up.  He tries to run him away, ignores him and eventually invites him in.  He's got a friend now.

He meets the woman in the caravan next door.  She has a cat.  He likes her and they chat.  He's spent half his savings on the dog who needed vet care.  Now he has to worry about the dog and cat getting along.  

This is a sweet tale of old people finding a companion late in life that gives them conversation, shared meals, and affection.  They still have some rough spots ahead of them but with someone who cares it's often easier to get past the point of trouble.

I enjoyed reading this book.  It was like visiting my grandparents again.
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This is a charming, easy to read tale, about a man who leaves his care home, is estranged from his son and has a quiet adventure.

It's well written and his relationships with both a stray dog and a Chinese lady he meets are well told.

A lovely read with a happy ending.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to preview this book in exchange for my honest review.
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A wonderful story of two people finding each other  in old age.
Robin Bentley, was in a nursing home after having lost his home and money helping out his son, depressed and with little interest in life,  he decides he must escape. The morning he does leave, he meets an ornery old Bull Terrier, who follows him  to a seaside caravan park where he plans to hide.  He calls him Butch and they become best friends, giving Robin a purpose in life.
It turns out in the caravan next to his is an elderly Chinese woman  and her cat Bo. The two of them become friends, looking out after each other, and both happier than they had been in a long while. 
This book has a lot of little pearls of wisdom, as the two talk about their pasts and families. Both of them feeling they now have something to live for.
There is a lot more to this story, so I hope you will give it a read. It makes one, think, care, and get involved in their lives.
I would like to thank Stephanie Carr, NetGalley and Troubador Publishing Ltd  for a copy of this book
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