From the bestselling author of 'A Gentleman in Moscow' Amor Towles transports its audience to a new moment in time. On this occasion it's 1954 in Nebraska and readers join four young 'band of brothers' in an epic journey on The Lincoln Highway - an imaginative adventure that you willingly want to be part of. But don't try to predict where this journey starts and ends. This is a mesmerising story with brave, complex and (some) loveable characters that you won't want to leave behind.
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THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY
BY AMOR TOWLES
'The Lincoln Highway' by Amor Towles is a road trip you won't want to leave and like all good journeys there are plenty of memorable tales, twists and U-turns that are beautifully crafted and ingeniously pieced together to create a wonderful book club read. It's over five years since book clubs enjoyed Amor Towles's bestselling novel 'A Gentleman in Moscow'. Once again Towles effortlessly transports his audience to a new moment in time, on this occasion it's 1954 Nebraska and readers join four young 'band of brothers' in an epic and imaginative adventure, that you will willingly want to be part of. The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental road in the USA starting in Times Square, NYC and finishing in San Francisco. But don't try to predict where this journey starts and ends. This is a mesmerising story with brave, complex and (some) loveable characters that you won't want to leave.
The novel starts nearly 10 years after WW2 and shortly after the Korean War so communities in the States were affected and the scars still felt even amongst the younger generation who were looking towards adulthood and starting a future. At first glance it appears to be Emmett's story. Emmett Watson is eighteen and just released from a young offenders work camp in Selina. He is on his way home to close up his family home following his father's death, take charge of his younger brother, Billy, now aged eight and head off to California to start a new life. But Emmett is not alone thanks to two of his camp friends who have stowed themselves away in the trunk of the Warden's car. Woolly and Duchess have very different plans for Emmett and Billy taking the four of them on a fateful journey in the opposite direction to New York. In the background there is also some love interest with Sally who makes an appearance joining the journey midway and this is definitely a nod to a sweetheart and Emmett's future.
The novel counts down in 10 chapters or rather 10 days of lively adventure in which the reader is swept away into the episodes described by the four main characters as well as other figures in the story, with each one taking turns to voice their version of events. As each day passes we become closer to knowing the boys, appreciating their perspective and their actions and although their journey is fraught with dangerous and dark encounters these moments in time serve to test their integrity and loyalty as well as teach the boys to adapt to their environment and survive. And ultimately shape their characters.
With the lure of a $150,000 cash held in a safe the drama to make the journey is heightened. The Den enjoyed the pace and the sensational moments that kept readers on their toes. Towles has certainly proven his ability to re-tool his craft and mix up story-telling, but it is reassuringly as good as 'The Gentleman in Moscow', but oh so different. Definitely a novel you will lovingly want to read again and share amongst good friends and book clubbers.