Tag Archives: Crossing to Safety

Blasts from the Past: Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (1987)

Cover imageThis is the latest in a series of occasional posts featuring books I read years ago about which I was wildly enthusiastic at the time, wanting to press a copy in as many hands as I could.

Crossing to Safety is one of those novels I came across in my early blogging days when I was getting to know which bloggers I’d like to follow. I’ve a feeling that it was Jacqui at JacquiWine’s Journal who put me on to it. Whoever it was, I’m very grateful. Written when he was seventy-eight, Wallace Stegner’s semi-autobiographical novel is about two couples and their lifelong friendship.

The Langs meet the Morgans during the Great Depression. Charity and Sally are both pregnant while Sid and Larry are colleagues in the local university’s English department. The story of this friendship, which will see the couples through happiness and tragedy, triumphs and tribulations, is told through Larry’s recollections. All this may sound a little dull but for me, it’s a quiet masterpiece, notable for the elegance of Stegner’s expression and its evocation of a friendship which manages to weather the strains put upon it by changing circumstances.

I remember trying to track down as many of Stegner’s novels as I could after reading Crossing to Safety but few seemed to be available here in the UK apart from Angle of Repose. Much to my delight, I stumbled upon an American import of Recapitulation when on holiday in Madrid and snapped it up immediately.

What about you – any blasts from your pasts you’d like to recommend?