How I went all these years without having even heard of Wallace Stegnar is testament to his underrated reputation as a writer. I was really impressed by Crossing to Safety, which is a simple yet eloquently written story about 2 couples who forge a friendship over their lifetime. It is just after the Great Depression when we are introduced to Larry and Sally shortly after they have married and moved to Wisconsin where Larry is soon to start work as a lecturer at the University. Sally is recently pregnant and the couple are filled with hope for a promising future when they meet the privileged yet generous Charity and Sid Lang and are immediately drawn into their circle. As Larry our narrator states ‘When the Lang’s opened their hearts to us we crept gratefully in’. And so a friendship is born, one which will remain revered for year to come. This is an uncomplicated story that doesn't try to be more than it is. I highly recommend this book if you want to experience the power of fine fiction writing.  

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I agree, Wallace Stegner is indeed a fine writer and this book, though simple enough in its premise is a powerful story of a friendship forged between two couples. It also serves to remind us that no matter how close we seem to be to others and how involved in their lives we become, we are all ultimately alone.

Two couples become lifelong friends through the men's work in the Literature Department of an American university.

Set mostly in the nineteen thirties, ending in the early seventies, the contrast of each of the couples' backgrounds,

is profound and affects the telling of the tale.  Time and environment covered well, an unusual read.

 

Congratulations to Anne Cohen, the writer of this review.  Anne is a winner in our "Read, Review & Win" program.

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