Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crossing to Safety Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An absolutely gorgeous novel about two couples who meet in college and lives are intertwined from that day forth. The book stretches over nearly 50 years of friendship, loyalty, honesty and generosity. The prose in this novel is amazing.

I haven't read a book for so long that has phrases like, " are at once drawn together, braided and plaited into a friendship . . . held together by neither law nor property nor blood, there is no glue in it but mutual liking. It is therefore, rare." At the beginning of the friendship, Larry talks about how we delight in being chosen - meaning that we love people who seem to love us first, who praise and adore us.

Much of the novel takes place in the woods of Vermont on Battell Pond. At one time they take a week-long walking tour and camp every night. I'm not a huge camping person but after reading that part of the book, I want to be, as long as it is with the Morgans and Langs, eating the food they eat, reading what they read and singing what they sing.

This was a simpler time, from the 30s to 70s and it seems so blissful to read all that they read and then talked about what they read. The music and singing played a large part in their entertainment and the writing that the two husbands do is important. It seems like our lives are so different now, full of constant interfacing with media - computers, ipods, TV. We don't take much time to just sit still and ponder life like they did in this book and it is beautfiul.

This is definitely not a page-turner in the usual sense of the word, but I found I couldn't get enough of the thoughtful, beautiful scenes and thoughts on life and friendship.

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Corinne said...

I just got this book from bookmooch a couple months ago - I should move it up my list! I read Big Rock Candy Mountain and fell in LOVE with Stegner's style :)

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

This is a LOVELY book!