November 29, 2021 8:15 AM EST

Critically acclaimed author Amor Towles, best known for his 2016 blockbuster, A Gentleman in Moscow, returns with a captivating novel set in 1950s America. When 18-year-old Emmett Watson is released early from his term at a juvenile detention center, it should be good news. Unfortunately, though, he is returning to a town that doesn’t want him back, and must deal with his father’s death and the foreclosure of the family farm. His younger brother is more optimistic, seeing Emmett’s release as their chance to leave their Nebraska lives behind them and look for their mother, who abandoned them years ago, in San Francisco. But two boys who escaped the same detention center and traveled as stowaways with Emmett and the warden have different plans—they plan to take Emmett’s car to New York, whether Emmett comes along or not. It’s a cross-country chase full of larger-than-life characters, evocative detail and plenty of adventure.

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