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Publisher Description


A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Quarterly and The Washington Post as a Best Book of the Year

“Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A classic that we will read for years to come.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna book club
“A real joyride . . . elegantly constructed and compulsively readable.” – NPR

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months 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, Billy, and head to California 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, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.

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.

Edoardo Ballerini
hr min
October 5
Penguin Audio

Customer Reviews

sckibler ,

A beautiful gift

This is one of the most beautiful books I have read in a long time. The story is as epic as any Greek fable, but the character development was simply
beautiful and a gift. Thank you.

JAA1018 ,


The language, the character development, the plot, all woven together to produce a magical, serendipitous epic. I cannot recommend this enough.

hatter106_2021 ,

Great production; excellent voice actors.

This is a review of the audiobook. One of the best productions I have listened to. Each chapter was read with care and passion.

The story itself is brilliant too - full of colorful characters, orchestrated through challenges of life, and given opportunities to act out the best and the worst in them. You would cheer for them. You would weep for them. Highly recommended.

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