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Golden Age: Book summary and reviews of Golden Age by Jane Smiley

Golden Age

A Last Hundred Years: a Family Saga Novel

by Jane Smiley

Golden Age by Jane Smiley X
Golden Age by Jane Smiley
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  • Published Oct 2015
    464 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize: the much-anticipated final volume, following Some Luck and Early Warning , of her acclaimed American trilogy - a richly absorbing new novel that brings the remarkable Langdon family into our present times and beyond.

A lot can happen in one hundred years, as Jane Smiley shows to dazzling effect in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as Golden Age, its final installment, opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political - and personal - challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before.

Michael and Richie, the rivalrous twin sons of World War II hero Frank, work in the high-stakes world of government and finance in Washington and New York, but they soon realize that one's fiercest enemies can be closest to home; Charlie, the charming, recently found scion, struggles with whether he wishes to make a mark on the world; and Guthrie, once poised to take over the Langdons' Iowa farm, is instead deployed to Iraq, leaving the land - ever the heart of this compelling saga - in the capable hands of his younger sister.

Determined to evade disaster, for the planet and her family, Felicity worries that the farm's once-bountiful soil may be permanently imperiled, by more than the extremes of climate change. And as they enter deeper into the twenty-first century, all the Langdon women - wives, mothers, daughters - find themselves charged with carrying their storied past into an uncertain future.

Combining intimate drama, emotional suspense, and a full command of history, Golden Age brings to a magnificent conclusion the century-spanning portrait of this unforgettable family - and the dynamic times in which they've loved, lived, and died: a crowning literary achievement from a beloved master of American storytelling.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Smiley's cantering, far-reaching, yet intimate trilogy is both timely in the issues it so astutely raises ... and timeless in the rapture of its storytelling and the humanness of its insights into family, self, and our connection to the land. Readers will be reading, and rereading, Smiley's Last Hundred Years far into the next." - Booklist

"A fitting conclusion to the trilogy, leaving readers wondering what the future holds in store for the once united but now far-flung family." - Library Journal

"What lingers with readers aren't the encounters with marquee historical events (Clinton's sex scandals; 9/11) but Smiley's detailed depiction of the kaleidoscopic geometries of family, as the Langdons spiral out from Iowa into the larger world, endlessly fracturing and coming back together." - Publishers Weekly

"Despite dire events, the narrative energy of masterfully interwoven plotlines always conveys a sense of life as an adventure worth pursuing." - Kirkus

This information about Golden Age was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jane Smiley Author Biography

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and the Last Hundred Years Trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. She is the author as well of several works of nonfiction and books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.

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