Before there was Mary Karr (Liar’s Club) or Jeanette Walls (The Glass Castle), there was Caroline Knapp, memoirist and pioneer of writing about truth and pain. Knapp’s Drinking: A Love Story, published in the early 1990’s, is a quietly moving story chronicling her harrowing relationship with alcohol. A few years after the book’s publication, Knapp and Gail Caldwell became best friends. Both writers, the two met for years to walk their dogs along a favorite path; their accumulative miles eventually logging a measure for the interior ground they covered. They spoke about everything from their shared history of struggle, to their relationships, to their love of writing books. When Knapp was diagnosed with cancer these two private, fiercely self-reliant women were suddenly thrown into the unknown. Caldwell chronicles this journey in her own memoir Let’s Take the Long Way Home (now available in paperback). Caldwell’s striking and beautiful prose speaks to the deepest levels of devotion and grief and to the transformation and treasures she found in knowing and then losing Caroline. This book is not only a gift to Ms. Knapp, but it is a gift to anyone who is lucky enough to have found and journeyed through life with that singular and treasured relationship of a best friend.