September 22, 2022

My Three Book Clubs: Towles Road Trip, Family Dramas Make Great Getaways | Books

Two books last month served as a family drama, while a third book I read in November for my book clubs may be the longest I’ve read this year, but it was also l ‘one of the best.

“The Lincoln Highway”

What I thought • Although I’m not as big a fan as most of Towles’ previous work “A Gentleman in Moscow”, I eagerly jumped into “The Lincoln Highway” and found it more accessible and, with that, more agreable.

In June 1954, 18-year-old Emmett Watson had just returned home after spending 15 months on a juvenile labor farm. His mother is long gone and his father recently passed away, and Emmett has to look after his younger brother, Billy. Wanting to get off to a good start, he hatches a plan to leave his hometown and, at his brother’s request, heads to California.

Plans go wrong when Emmett discovers that his two friends, Duchess and Woolly, have been hitchhiking in the principal’s trunk. Told over 10 busy days filled with adventure, humor and life lessons, the story follows these four characters and more on a trip to New York City.

Typically in books with multiple points of view (there are quite a few in this book), I find myself going through certain chapters to arrive at the characters that interest me the most. I’ve never felt that way with this book, even with supporting characters that haven’t gotten so much ink, like Sally and Ulysses. It’s a testament to Towles’ ability to create authentic, superbly crafted characters and weave smaller stories into a bigger picture.