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Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Crossing to Safety Wallace StegnerWallace Stegner was born in Lake Mills, Iowa in 1909, and in a writing career spanning over sixty years he produced somewhere in the region of thirty books. Crossing to Safety was Stegner’s last novel, and a lifetime’s worth of insight, humanity and experience is clearly evident to anyone lucky enough to find themselves reading it.

One of those books which could happily have been twice as long, I know I’m not the only one to have felt a tangible sense of loss on finishing the last page. Truly a modern classic by one of the finest authors of the last century, if it fails to move you then you must have a heart of stone!

Read on for a full review….

-- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner a Review by Des Greene --
Over the years I’ve read quite a number of books that I would consider great works of fiction, but probably not very many that made me feel truly privileged to have read them. Wallace Stegner’s novel Crossing to Safety is certainly one of those few. It was first published in 1987, just six years before his death at the age of 84.

The novel follows the lives of Larry and Sally Morgan and Sid and Charity Lang. Larry, a penniless aspiring writer, accepts a job on the English faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Sid, who already works there, takes Larry under his wing. Sally and Charity also hit it off together from their first meeting, and life long bonds are formed, the developing and shifting nature of which, form the major substance of the novel.

The couples go through many of the typical trials and growing pains in both their marriages and friendships, they also suffer more serious personal tragedies. However, as personally life changing as some of these things are, it is the characters rather than the events in themselves which set this book apart. Stegner’s insight into the way characters continue to change and mature through adulthood, and the evolution of personal relationships over time is truly remarkable. His ability to cast this insight onto the page in the form of endearingly real people along with all their human flaws and weaknesses, is even more remarkable.

Engaging, thought provoking, and at times upsetting, Crossing to Safety is a rare and enriching novel. Certainly a book I would recommend you add to your reading list.

Already read Crossing to Safety? What did you think of it? Please post a comment below, Novel Suggestions is always keen to hear your opinions.

Novel Suggestions only provides fiction book reviews of books that we personally recommend. We don’t spend our valuable time writing reviews of books which we feel would be a waste of your valuable time!

One Comment

  1. […] Stegner. I’m a little ashamed that it has taken me so long to discover his work but I read Crossing to Safety earlier this year after my sister recommended it to me. I enjoyed every word of it, the characters […]

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