Crossing to Safety

Crossing to SafetyCrossing to SafetyCrossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner by Wallace Stegner

Book club’s pick for June, and I would never have read it otherwise. Which would have been a shame, because it was a wonderful book – just not my usual sort, and it took me a bit to get into it and adjust to its style and pacing. It also was a fantastic book for discussing, so there’s another reason to be glad it was the book club choice. If you’ve got a group looking for a book to read together, this is a good one to try!

I said it’s not my usual sort, because my fiction reading heavily leans toward genre fiction, not literary fiction. My tastes are not elevated, and most non-genre novels tend to bore me. I want some more action in my plots! While that could easily have been a concern with Stegner’s work, I didn’t find that to be an issue at all. Once I got into the story (past the first chapter), the gentle pacing and descriptive passages pulled me into and along with the story, and I loved the overall feel.

Recommended. It’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking book, and I’m so glad I read it.

Publisher’s Description:
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.

Book Details

Title: Crossing to SafetyCrossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Author: Wallace Stegner
Category: Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars

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  1. I’m also a genre reader. 🙂

    But Jon Krakauer quoted Wallace Stegner a couple of times in UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN, so I was thinking I might give him a shot.

    • Stegner made an appearance in The Last Season which I just finished this week. I’d have glossed right over it before, so I’m glad to have had the context to appreciate the significance of his connection to the story. I read that Krakauer book some time ago (pre-kids I think) and don’t remember the quotes at all, but then again I’d never read Stegner at that time!

      Love genre fiction, but I am starting to better appreciate more literary works. 🙂

  2. Just started this book today, and I’m still trying to figure out what the heck it is about. I will soldier on!

    • Has it gotten any better? The first chapter or section or whatever it was was the hardest part for me. Once it skipped back in time it helped, and I eventually reread the beginning and appreciated it a lot more.

  3. This sounds interesting. I’m a total fan of literary fiction and really appreciate the subtleties and nuances it often presents. I imagine it’s harder to write, and I think this kind of admiration is what makes me want to keep reading this type of writing. I do think it’s tricky finding non-depressing literary fiction, though! =D

    That said, I think it’s easier for me to relax reading genre fiction. It’s also easier for me to dissect plot and structure when reading genre fiction.

    • That’s usually my problem with literary fiction – so often it seems to be bleak and depressing, and I don’t generally like reading those sorts of books.

      This one had some sad moments, but it wasn’t depressing to me at all. I think you might really enjoy it, as it did have a lot of subtlety and nuance.

  4. I am so glad you discovered this gem! I hope more people read it. It is one of my all time favorites. I read it in my younger years and then picked it up again after all my children had left the house. It resonated with me in both times of my life. So glad you are sharing it!


  1. […] great book club pick, with my full review publishing tomorrow (it’s now published!). Slow start but oh so worth […]

  2. […] The Wallace Stegner references were a fun bonus, after so recently finishing Stegner’s novel Crossing to Safety. I’m in the midst of reading two books I am *loving*, and one more that I really like, so […]

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