Top positive review
yes it meanders but......
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2021
A long and winding road. It's 1954 and newly released from a work camp, Emmet wants nothing more than to pack up his little brother Billy and head to Texas where he plans to use his carpentry skills to renovate houses. Billy, however, wants to go to California where he believes their mother, who left the family, is living. Both of their plans are knocked sideways by the surprise appearance of Willy and Duchess, who escaped the camp in the trunk of the car that brought Emmet home. Duchess has hatched a plan to go to New York and take $150k from the safe in Wooly's family home= and he's steals Emmet's car, forcing Emmet and Billy onto a freight train where they meet Ulysses, who has been riding the rails since his own family disappeared during WWII. Duchess also wants to wreak revenge on or atone to several people and to find the father who abandoned and betrayed him. This is a story of seekers, of fathers and sons, of heroic tales, of the hidden places, of mental illness, and of hope. These are vivid characters, even if they might seem archetypes- it works. While the novel is set over a ten day period (it counts down from the day Emmet gets home and then documents each day in the journey to and around New York), each character's back story is parceled out along the way. I found myself wrapped up in this well told story thanks to Towles' storytelling and, frankly, a desire to know what would happen. And I was surprised. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Excellent read.