A Washington Post Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, BookPage
It’s 1987, and the next generation of Langdons is facing economic, social, and political challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered. Michael and Richie, twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes worlds of government and finance—but their fiercest enemies may be closer to home. Charlie, the charmer, struggles to find his way; Guthrie is deployed to Iraq, leaving the Iowa family farm in the hands of his younger sister, Felicity— who, as always, has her own ideas. Determined to help preserve the planet, she worries that her family farm’s land is imperiled, and not only by the extremes of climate change. Moving seamlessly from the power-brokered 1980s and the scandal-ridden ‘90s to our own present moment and beyond, Golden Age combines intimate drama, emotional suspense, and an intricate view of history, bringing to a magnificent conclusion the epic trilogy of one unforgettable family.
One of the Best Books of the Year: San Francisco Chronicle
It’s 1953, and the Langdons are at a crossroads. Walter, their stalwart patriarch, has died unexpectedly, and his wife must try to keep their farm going. But of their five children, only one will remain to work the land. The others scatter to Washington, DC, California, and everywhere in between.
As the country moves into the Cold War, through the social revolutions of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and into the unprecedented wealth—for some—of the early ‘80s, the Langdon children 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. Capturing a transformative period through characters we come to know and love, this second volume in Jane Smiley’s epic trilogy brings to life the challenges—and rewards—of family and home, even in the most turbulent of times.
A Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times, The Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage
1920, Denby, Iowa: Rosanna and Walter Langdon have just welcomed their firstborn son, Frank, into their family farm. He will be the oldest of five.
Each chapter in this extraordinary novel covers a single year, encompassing the sweep of history as the Langdons abide by time-honored values and pass them on to their children. With the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change through the early 1950s, we watch as the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis. Later still, a girl we’d seen growing up now has a little girl of her own.
The first volume of an epic trilogy from a beloved writer at the height of her powers, Some Luck starts us on a literary adventure through cycles of birth and death, passion and betrayal that will span a century in America.