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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


10 thoughts on “Crossing to Safety

  1. says:

    Books like this are why I read Despite some dark passages it’s a delight to read and I’m adding it as one of my all time favoritesThe story follows two couples through life It’s an academic novel in a sense – both men start out as English professors at the University of Wisconsin in the difficult years of the late 1930’s – the end of the Depression heading into WW II The hunt for the Holy Grail of tenure and discussions of suitable academic work that will get tenure is one theme poetry? novels? literary criticism? Each year the two couples get together at a summer family compound in Vermont owned by the wealthier coupleThe introduction tells us that “Crossing to Safety is a love storyin the sense that it explores private lives No outsider ever knows the interior landscape of a marriage It is one of the great secrets kept between couplesThe hunt for love is always on and in some tragic truthful stunning way it forever eludes us” One family is much wealthier than the other and helps the former out with a loan that they pay off over time In chapters that alternate between their present older age 60’s and their younger years we learn about their romances and their struggles view spoilerBoth families have children and their ups and downs and health issues – one woman spends time in a mental institution the other gets polio – she’s in an iron lung for a while and for the rest of her life has crutches and eventually metal braces on her legs hide spoiler