The Friends First Friday Book Club in September will discuss Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.
In Crossing to Safety, a 1987 semi-autobiographical novel that has gained broad literary acclaim and commercial popularity, Stegner explores the mysteries of friendship and it extends his distinguished body of work that earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1971 with Angle of Repose and the National Book Award in 1976 for The Spectator Bird.
Publishers Weekly described Crossing to Safety as "an eloquent, wise and immensely moving narrative," and "a meditation on the idealism and spirit of youth, when the world is full of promise, and on the blows and compromises life inevitably inflicts”. The story is told mostly in flashback; the narrator, Larry Morgan, and his wife, Sally, settle into their new home in Madison, Wisconsin, as Larry begins a term teaching creative writing at the university's English department. They soon befriend another couple, Sid and Charity Lang, and learn of Sid's ambition to succeed as a writer. Larry and Sally Morgan, are poor, but Larry’s literary career is burgeoning. Charity and Sid Lang, are wealthy, smart and magnetic. Through the eyes of Larry we follow the couples through the better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness and health of their marriages.
As their careers mature, they take different paths, but they spend much of their time together on summer vacations in the small Vermont town where Charity's family has been coming for decades. A poignant and thoughtful reflection on the complex nature of the emotional web of human relationships, Stegner's powerful but unassuming narrative traces the bond that develops between the Langs and the Morgans from their first meeting in 1937 through their eventual separation on the occasion of Charity's death from cancer.