Liked the first book in the trilogy but as I started this one I didn't think I wanted to try and keep up with all the characters once again-sorry I'll be missing the Charlie story but so many books to read!!
The second book in Smiley's trilogy about the Iowa Langdon family takes us from the Cold War 1950s to the Reagan years of the 1980s. The grandchildren of Rosanna and Walter reach adulthood in all kinds of ways.
I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the first although I’m not sure why that was, at least until Charlie’s story, a boy not connected to anyone’s family tree makes an appearance! Then, I was hooked. Clever of the author.
If I had to choose one, I'd take the first one in the trilogy Some Luck-something about the sentimentality of those years I didn't live through. But I don't. Early Warning is all those things boomers lived through, all Smiley's characters growing up with America. Forgive them. It's the same beautiful page turning novel and this one has a trick. Don't miss Charlie when he comes up. It's not a typo in the genealogy chart. Can't wait for the third, but you can read them on their own.
This is the second in a planned trilogy and while it's not absolutely necessary to read Some Luck first, because both books do stand alone as well, it might make the read more fulfilling. Anyway, both books cover a year per chapter in the life of a family, with each chapter covering several characters and how they've been living their lives. It's interesting. Not necessarily as compelling as I'd thought it might be, but interesting. Because there are so many characters, and each has their story to tell, the author doesn't have room to go deeply into each although she does illustrate quite well through fewer words than you'd expect, how each individual is responding to life. The book planned to follow this one is Golden Age, so we'll see how the family changes yet again with a third and fourth generation. Thing is, because each person is allotted only a small portion of the author's time and attention, none of them feel very fully-conceived, more like they're sketches of individuals.
This is the second volume of the Langdon family chronicles. Maybe not quite as lively as the first, it's nevertheless engrossing. In this installment the Langdon grandchildren are born, grow up, go to college, marry and start their own families. Historic events are included like the cold war, Vietnam, various presidencies and trade embargoes. Some family members get rich, some start businesses others battle illness and addiction. There are infidelities etc. --very true to life. One thing I really like is that the author depicts the young children as very much having their own personalities from birth. Nature over nuture. I really believe in that. As one character explains when confronted by his daughter who asks him why he liked his older son but not her explains: Each child is an individual. Each is loved for who they are. Each child is loved but are not loved equally by their parents because they aren't the same. Words of wisdom.
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