The Lincoln Highway: A Novel


Amor Towles

I saw a man reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles while on a plane and he was engrossed in the book. When he lifted his head up I asked whether he was enjoying the book and his enthusiastic response caused me to put the book into my reading queue. The title of the book was also appealing because the Lincoln Highway ran through the small town where I grew up.  Back then, I had no idea that the highway (the original road was only two lanes) stretched from New York to California.

The book begins with Emmett Watson’s release from prison and covers the first week after his release. The story is told through several characters and the one that often steals the show is Emmett’s younger brother Billy. The story opens in the Midwest – the heartland of America which immediately gave me the feeling I was reading a Great American Novel.

In retrospect some of the events are a bit farfetched but the story is so well written I felt I was in the moment with the characters. The story does deal briefly with prison life and there are some tough but brief moments. Overall, the novel is about moving forward, doing the right thing and hope for a better life. I recommend this book if you are looking for a serious yet hopeful read.