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Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
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Crossing to Safety (original 1987; edition 1990)

by Wallace Stegner

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2,427682,554 (4.19)193
Member:KatherineGregg
Title:Crossing to Safety
Authors:Wallace Stegner
Info:Penguin Books (1990), Paperback, 341 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:polio, death, friendship, marriage, cancer

Work details

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Earle Stegner (1987)

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» See also 193 mentions

English (65)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Lovely, insightful literary work about love and friendship. It's a slow, fairly melancholy read, meant to be digested over time. Not a quick or easy experience, but worth the effort. ( )
  TheBentley | Jul 19, 2014 |
Beautifully written story of a long term friendship between two couples, which explores along the way the psychology of relationships, academia, east-west dynamics in the US, and the nature of art/fiction. For my full review, please see Whispering a Gums: http://whisperinggums.com/2014/06/25/wallace-stegner-crossing-to-safety-review/ ( )
  minerva2607 | Jul 3, 2014 |
Ironically, the author says " How do you make a book that anyone will read out of lives as quiet as these? ". Wallace Stegner seizes upon these things in this novel and makes it satisfying for readers. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Ironically, the author says " How do you make a book that anyone will read out of lives as quiet as these? ". Wallace Stegner seizes upon these things in this novel and makes it satisfying for readers. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
3.5 stars

This is a simple story about two married couples, friends. When Larry and Sally move to Wisconsin in the late 1930s for Larry to start a teaching job as a professor, they meet Sid and Charity and begin a life-long friendship.

The book starts in “current-day” and goes back in time for most of the first half to when they first met. It then goes back and forth for a while and it ends during the current-day again. I enjoyed this more than I expected to, but there was a section in the first bit where I completely lost interest, as it was pretty much filled with intellectual/literary conversation. I could have done without that. Otherwise, it was a good story. That being said, I hated Charity. She did some nice things, and was a good friend to Sally, but her personality! *Shudder. I think I liked the current-day stuff better than the reminiscences, but I think we had to get to know Charity and Sid from back then before we learned the end of the book. Overall, it turned out to be a good read and I'm glad I read it. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jan 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
I could give all to Time except-except

What I myself have held. But why declare

The things forbidden that while the Customs slept

I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There

And what I would not part with I have kept.

Robert Frost
Dedication
For M.P.S., in gratitude for more than half a century of love and friendship, and to the friends we were both blessed by.
First words
Floating upward through a confusion of dreams and memory. curving like a trout through the rings of previous risings, I surface.
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Book description
This is a novel by one of the grand masters of American fiction, about two couples who form a fast-and lifelong-friendship. It begins in the mid-thirties, in mid-Depression, when a nice, bright couple from the West with gifts and dreams but no prospects or connections meets a nice, bright couple from the East with wealth-and the generosity to share.

Set against the backgrounds of several beautifully rendered and most typical American landscapes, the story of the friendship between Larry and Sally Morgan and Sid and Charity Land makes for fiction of humor, sadness, and celebration, that rare novel which the reader declares a gift. Mr. Stegner brilliantly brings to life America as it changes, grows older, evolves, and how the Langs and the Morgans do the same. Each stumbles through life supported by the others, yet in that support, Mr. Stegner renders the occasional penalties of closeness and loyalty, the occasional perils of asking forgiveness. Each achieves a different safety by a different means, yet all are held together by the love of friends.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 037575931X, Paperback)

It's deceptively simple: two bright young couples meet during the Depression and form an instant and lifelong friendship. "How do you make a book that anyone will read out of lives as quiet as these?" Larry Morgan, a successful novelist and the narrator of the story, poses that question many years after he and his wife, Sally, have befriended the vibrant, wealthy, and often troubled Sid and Charity Lang. "Where is the high life, the conspicuous waste, the violence, the kinky sex, the death wish?" It's not here. What is here is just as fascinating, just as compelling, as touching, and as tragic.

Crossing to Safety is about loyalty and survival in its most everyday form--the need to create bonds and the urge to tear them apart. Thirty-four years after their first meeting, when Larry and Sally are called back to the Langs' summer home in Vermont, it's as if for a final showdown. How has this friendship defined them? What is its legacy? Stegner offer answers in those small, perfectly rendered moments that make up lives "as quiet as these"--and as familiar as our own. --Sara Nickerson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:50 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Called a "magnificently crafted story ... brimming with wisdom" by Howard Frank Mosher in The Washington Post Book World, Crossing to Safety has, since its publication in 1987, established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century. Tracing the lives, loves, and aspirations of two couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin, it is a work of quiet majesty, deep compassion, and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage."--Jacket.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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