Early Warning – Jane Smiley

Early Warning - Jane Smiley

Early Warning – Jane Smiley

This is the second novel is Jane Smiley’s trilogy The Last One Hundred Years – it started with Some LuckI enjoyed reading Some Luck but took my time getting this second volume (I did move straight onto the third though – Golden Age – but more of that later).

Here is the blurb …

From the Pulitzer Prize winner: a journey through mid-century America, as lived by the extraordinary Langdon family we first met in Some Luck, a national best seller published to rave reviews from coast to coast.

Early Warning opens in 1953 with the Langdons at a crossroads. Their stalwart patriarch Walter, who with his wife had sustained their Iowa farm for three decades, has suddenly died, leaving their five children looking to the future. Only one will remain to work the land, while the others scatter to Washington, DC, California, and everywhere in between. As the country moves out of postwar optimism through the Cold War, the social and sexual revolutions of the 1960s and ’70s, and then into the unprecedented wealth—for some—of the early ’80s, the Langdon children will have children of their own: twin boys who are best friends and vicious rivals; a girl whose rebellious spirit takes her to the notorious Peoples Temple in San Francisco; and a golden boy who drops out of college to fight in Vietnam—leaving behind a secret legacy that will send shockwaves through the Langdon family into the next generation. Capturing an indelible period in America through the lens of richly drawn characters we come to know and love, Early Warning is an engrossing, beautifully told story of the challenges—and rich rewards—of family and home, even in the most turbulent of times.

Out of the three novels this has been my favourite – I felt I learned a bit of American social history (Peoples Temple, the cold war spy drama, etc) and the characters are so diverse but equally beautifully written. This novel reminds me a bit of Middlemarch in its sprawling nature with a lot of characters and plot lines. This novel is about individual characters, but it also tells the story of a particular country at a particular time.

More reviews …




1 Comment

Filed under Fiction

One Response to Early Warning – Jane Smiley

  1. Pingback: Golden Age – Jane Smiley | My BookClub Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *