Sarah's Reviews > Crossing California

Crossing California by Adam Langer
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's review
Jul 05, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: chicago, fiction
Read in November, 2008

This novel is a meandering tour through two generations of distinct, yet intertwining Chicago families. My favorite character, by far, was the thoroughly unlikeable Lana Rovner, possibly the most annoying 7th grader I've ever met in fiction or reality. Lana manages to be both a manipulative and ambitious snob as well as an awkward and painfully naive tween.

Langer sets the novel against the backdrop of the Iran hostage crisis, ending on Inauguration Day, 1981. Why these 444 days? As Langer writes in the author's note:

"Crossing California deals with a period of transition in my life, as well as in Chicago and America.... Memory tends to simplify matters, but with the exception of very recent history in America, I can't recall a time in our country during which the mood and political climate shifted so quickly."

Included are a neighborhood map in the front, and a glossary in the back. The glossary is amusing, if not essential reading.

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