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BookWorm Recommends: The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles


The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
UK Publication: October 2021
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★★]

Wow just wow. My first Amor Towles and it won’t be my last

Synopsis from Goodreads: In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles’s third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

My Thoughts: This is a fantastic book it is a quest story, a journey story, a road trip story and most of all it is a friendship story.

The titular Lincoln Highway is the first road for automobiles across the United States it runs coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City west to Lincoln Park in San Francisco and as Billy tells us many of the destination along the highway erected statues of Abraham Lincoln to celebrate the new highway and to provide our unlikely four musketeers with various sight-seeing stops along their way.

Literature is important within this book as all the stories of the characters have parallels with the stories in the book that never leaves Billy side an A-Z “Compendium of Heroes, Adventurers and Other Intrepid Travelers” which covers Greek myths, real life travellers and fictional characters. The great works of the bard himself also put in several impromptu appearances leaving you in no doubt that Towles is well read and knows how to apply this knowledge to the best effect without ever showing off.

Told in alternate viewpoints as the story progresses the reader learns more about each character, their families, their childhoods and the reasons the 3 older boys ended up on the work farm. This slow reveal is delightful as is the relationship between the characters.

This is one of those books that the nearer I got to the end the slower I was reading as I didn’t want it to end. Then that ending hit me and ouch my heart hurts but my brain wants to know why that choice?

The characters entitle the road trip as “The Escapade” and that brilliantly sums up this book. As a reader I was left dreading what would happen next while at the same time willing the characters along.

Who would like this? This is a book for people who love books, who love book references and who love complex characters with complex backgrounds. I warn you now be prepared to fall in love at least once (Billy and Wooly for me) and be prepared to shed a tear or two.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Remedial Stitcher #

    I loved a Gentleman in Moscow and am looking forward to reading this one. There’s also a very short Kindle story that’s good, You Have Arrived at Your Destination.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 7, 2022
  2. Agreed! I’ve read Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow and LOVED them both. Lucky you that you have these books to look forward to.
    He’s an amazing writer. I can’t wait to read this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 7, 2022
  3. pbtanita #

    I am definitely a fan of this author, but have been saving this book for the perfect moment. Which I envision as like a cold snowy day with a cup of hot chocolate . . .so glad you had the chance to try him out!! I loved Rules of Civility, and A Gentleman in Moscow was also very enjoyable.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 7, 2022
  4. I also loved A Gentleman in Moscow, but Lincoln: not so much. I felt AT was channeling Mark Twain …

    Liked by 1 person

    September 8, 2022
  5. Book Worm #

    I am currently halfway through A Gentleman in Moscow completely different vibe from this book


    September 19, 2022

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