Ten Minutes from Home

A Memoir

Publisher: Crown
Ten Minutes from Home is the poignant account of how a suburban New Jersey family struggles to come together after being shattered by tragedy.
In this searing, sparely written, and surprisingly wry memoir, Beth Greenfield shares what happens in 1982 when, as a twelve-year-old, she survives a drunk-driving accident that kills her younger brother Adam and best friend Kristin. As the benign concerns of adolescence are re­placed by crushing guilt and grief, Beth searches for hope and support in some likely and not-so-likely places (General Hospital, a kindly rabbi, the bottom of a keg), eventually discovering that while life is fragile, love doesn’t have to be.
Ten Minutes from Home exquisitely captures both the heartache of lost innocence and the solace of strength and survival.

From the Hardcover edition.


All-wood construction. That’s what it said on the side of Grandma Ruth’s coffi n. I stared at that phrase while the men in Carhartt vests lowered her into the frozen ground. I stood just feet away, behind my mom, who sat in one of the white folding chairs that the folks from Bloomfi eld-Cooper Jewish Chapels...
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“This is a book filled with heart. A courageous book. A necessary book. Greenfield’s story is a testament to love, to family, and to survival.”
—ALISON SMITH, author of Name All the Animals
“With language poetic and spare, Beth Greenfield mines the tragedies of her life with a humble grace. I kept thinking Mary Karr was channeling Hemingway while reading Ten Minutes from Home, and yet Greenfield’s hard-earned voice is all her own—witty, courageous, close-to-the-bone.”
—KEVIN SESSUMS, author of Mississippi Sissy
“In Ten Minutes from Home, Beth Greenfield beautifully captures the lonely, complex territory of grief while staying true to the perspective of a young girl. This memoir of a family shattered by loss is also a story of resilience and the power of language.”
—ELIZABETH GRAVER, author of The Honey Thief
“With acute, loving attention, Beth Greenfield shows us how the living, transformed by grief, stagger back toward a renewed life.”
—MARK DOTY, author of Dog Years
“A stunning achievement. . . . This memoir, so astute, clear-eyed, and deeply affecting, is as brave as it is beautiful.”
—RICHARD MCCANN, author of Mother of Sorrows

From the Hardcover edition.