Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety
Hello, and thank you to all that made it out last night even though the sidewalks were indeed traitorous.
What a great book, Crossing to Safety has to go up there as one of my all time favorite reads with the book group. I loved watching you all come in so excited to talk about a book that we all really enjoyed.
First and foremost I love that the first comment about the book was not about its wonderful prose or its beautiful descriptions or complex relationships, it was about the 4% interest on your bank account during the period of the book ( from the great depression to the 1970's)!
Wallace Stegner, was a masterful writer, his prose is beautiful, the characters are all encompassing, the level of feeling through out the book was tangible and the descriptions ... oh the descriptions .. they were so good you could practically smell the soap in that one scene at the sink.
The focus of the story follows two couples who meet during the great depression in the english department at the University of Wisconsin. They are clearly from different sides of the track. Larry (who is just starting to get a career in the literary world) and his wife Sally have no money and Sid and Charity appear to have everything they could have ever wished for. They are wealthy smart and mesmerizing. They bond when both couples become pregnant. The relationships which span over 40 years are described at such an intimate level, yet Stegner felt no need/nor was it needed to sensationalize it with sexual encounters, which was indeed refreshing and beautiful to read. It was fascinating to see the couples evolve and change making me want to read the book a little slower so as to fully appreciate all that was being described. I liked how at the beginning of the book you felt like Sid and Charity had it all, yet by the end you could clearly see that Larry and Sally had had a much more beautiful life. It is so interesting to read this book knowing that it was written by a man, he has perfectly captured women's characters and all of there complexities. The women are depicted as strong and able.
For those of you that have not read Crossing to Safety, i thoroughly recommend it. The group also liked some of his other work, Angle of Repose and Remembering Laughter.
Looking forward to seeing you all next month, We are reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.
Books also read this month
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Alan Turing the Enigma
We are Not Our Selves by Matthew Thomas
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Colbert
Treat us like Dogs and we will become wolves by Carolyn Chute
My Brilliant friend by Elaina Ferrante
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
Unlikely Pilgramidge of Harold Fry