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Made For You and Me

By Caitlin Shetterly

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ISBN 10: 1401341462
ISBN 13: 9781401341466
256 pages
$23.99US
2011-03-08
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Read a QA with the author Caitlin Shetterly

“A redemptive story of how Caitlin Shetterly and her passionately devoted husband fought life to a draw in their coast-to-coast-to-coast odyssey. Kerouac would be proud. In fact he might be envious.”
—Peter Davis, Academy Award–winning director of Hearts and Minds

Newlywed Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan Davis, two hardworking freelancers, began their lives together in 2008 by pursuing a lifelong, shared dream of leaving Maine and going West. At first, California was the land of plenty. Quickly, though, the recession landed, and a surprise pregnancy that was also surprisingly rough made Caitlin too sick to work. By December, every job Dan had lined up had been canceled, and though he pounded the pavement, from shop to shop and from bar to bar, he could not find any work at all. By March 2009, every cent of the couple’s savings had been spent.

So, a year after they’d set out with big plans, Caitlin and Dan packed up again, this time with a baby on board, to make their way home to move in with Caitlin’s mother. As they drove, Caitlin blogged about their situation and created audio diaries for NPR’s Weekend Edition—and received an astounding response. From all across the country, listeners offered help, opening their hearts and their homes. And when the young family arrived back in rural Maine and squeezed into Caitlin’s mother’s small saltbox house, Caitlin learned that the bonds of family run deeper than any tug to roam, and that, with love, she and Dan could hold their dreams in sight, wherever they were.

Made for You and Me captures the irrepressible spirit and quiet perseverance of one small family—and offers to share that strength with any reader willing to make the journey.

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Reviews

“Caitlin Shetterly has written an eloquent, thoughtful, and courageous account of a young couple in the midst of a devastating economic crisis. A sense of the present, here and now, is startlingly real, and a feeling emerges that this new generation is facing challenges we have not seen since the time of their grandparents.”
Reeve Lindbergh, author of Under a Wing: A Memoir and No More Words: A Journal of My Mother, Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“In a world of uncertainty, we are offered a thoughtful pause, from a writer of uncommon resonance, heart, and verve. When Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan, moved to Los Angeles, California, in early 2008, they never imagined they would be among those who would find themselves in a terrifying economic free fall–out of work, far from family, with options dwindling. In Made for You and Me, Caitlin’s memoir of that time, she has written an open letter to all of us, mobile or rooted, about what it means to search for one kind of ‘American Dream’ and yield to another. Made for You and Me is a chronicle of change through love–sometimes painful, sometimes funny, often moving. What matters about this book is its revelation that what we think we want is not what we really need, which is family, community, and a meaningful life. This book will make many, many people feel less lonely in the world.”
Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge and Finding Beauty in a Broken World

“Caitlin Shetterly’s lovely, moving account of her small family’s journey to seek out and attain the sometimes elusive American dream will resonate with anyone who has had a tough time, and who hoped and tried hard to keep going.”
Isabel Gillies, author of Happens Every Day: All All-Too-True Story

“With her candid, open-hearted account of dreams and ambitions waylaid by the Great Recession, Caitlin Shetterly has given us a chronicle of our hard times.  Her young family’s bewildering journey across the country and back again ultimately stands as a testament to both resilience and reliance.  This is a beautifully-told story informed by a sharp eye and a generous spirit.”
Jane Brox, author of Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History and Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light

“Caitlin Shetterly’s Made for You and Me is a beautiful, moving, haunting, and funny memoir about what really counts. It moves deftly and lightly between the west coast and the east coast, and frustration and hope, with pointed, buoyant lines that make you smile as they pierce your heart. Made for You and Me is a memoir about great people (with great dogs, too; funny how that works out) and their great new son going through a rough patch with grace and wisdom. Caitlin and her family will realize many dreams. And in the meantime, rather than despair, they have given us a sublime gift of a book.”
–Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, is the author of “Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other” (Random House, 2010)

“There’s a story of this country that doesn’t get told a lot.  Or told well.  Of what it’s like to not make it.  Of having to say to yourself, and to your spouse and your child ‘Listen, this isn’t it.  We need to try something else.  We need to start over…from the very beginning.’ Caitlin Shetterly’s Made for You and Me is that story.  Resonant and richly detailed, it takes you deep into the personal heart of the beginning of the financial crisis and the recession that followed.  Then, somehow, via Venice, California, backwoods Maine and 3000 miles in between brings you out the other end.”
–Kai Ryssdal, host of Marketplace

“If you have listened to Weekend Edition for the past few years, than you’re likely to remember the story of Caitlin Shetterly —she and her husband decided to leave their home in Maine and pursue the dream of living in California. Unfortunately, the recession hit, and suddenly the couple found themselves without jobs —and pregnant. The pair had to trek back across the country to squeeze into Shetterly’s mother’s house in Maine, and Shetterly blogged (and spoke) about the journey (and her dwindling bank account) along the way for NPR. The Shetterly family was just one of many hit hard by the economic downturn, but her graceful telling of her struggles with money, health and optimism is as unique as it is universal.”
—NPR.org

“I thoroughly enjoyed the wild ride Caitlin Shetterly takes across America (with husband, pets, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and soon, child) in “Made for You and Me,” and the realistic, but hopeful, tale of a family’s search for home. Caitlin is an honest and companionable writer and I look forward to what’s next.”
–Melissa Coleman, Author of This Life is In Your Hands

I read Made for You and Me in one fell swoop. It’s a luminous, engaging, candid and often funny peek into a challenging (and all-too-relatable) American journey. Shetterly’s voice is so smart, so admirably direct, and her account so rich in sensory detail, so terribly precise, it made me feel a sort of queasy empathy. Amazing. I didn’t close this book until I reached the last page. I’m excited to see what Shetterly’s got in store for us next.
-–Sarah Braunstein, author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children

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