Saturday, February 11, 2023

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars 
Pages: 576 pages
Published: October 2021

In 2023, I am not trying to reach a certain number of books completed within the year but rather enjoy the journey of reading. This liberating reading goal has allowed me to consider longer books in my TBR (to be read) list. I was rewarded The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles by Book of the Month as it was one of the finalist for 2022’s Book of the Year. All loyal members with BFF status get to select either the BOTY winner or a finalist for free in their January box delivery. Since I’d already read the winner, I chose this nearly 600-page book. 

The story is set in the 1950s where a young man, Emmett, previously in juvenile detention for involuntary manslaughter is released at the end of his punishment and goes home to pick up his 8-year old brother, recently orphaned due to an absent mother and a deceased father. Emmett has plans for the two to get out of town and make a fresh start in Texas. However, his little brother, Billy has other aspirations for them in California. Similarly, Emmett’s fellow detention-mates, Duchess and Wooly, who escape the detention center, want Emmett to join them in hopes of securing Wooly’s hidden family treasure in New York. So, a young man’s best laid plans are soon thwarted, and over the course of 10 days, the reader follows the follies of these characters plus a few others along their trip across the United States. 

Even though this book is nearly twice as long as the average book I might read, it didn’t feel like it. The writer employs a good cadence that keeps the story moving and even once you reach the end of the story, you’re still longing to learn more about the characters and what they might get into next. I found this book to be both plot and character driven, but I really enjoyed the development of the characters over a relatively short time frame. This was shaping up to be a 5-star read for me until the very last chapter, which I found to be odd and incongruent. The perfect book would have been if it simply ended one chapter earlier. 

Recommendation: This was my first read by Towles. I’ve heard that A Gentleman in Moscow is an excellent read as well. I might consider picking that one up in the near future. I definitely recommend this book and might even go so far as to say to future readers: Stop reading one chapter early. Although that might prove difficult — This book is simply unputdownable! 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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