Towles’ novel, published Tuesday by Viking, follows a young man who’s finished serving a prison sentence for manslaughter, and who embarks on a road trip ,with his little brother, in search of their long-lost mother. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus called the novel “a remarkable blend of sweetness and doom” and “an exhilarating ride through Americana.”
“Not only is it one of the most beautifully written books I have ever picked up, it’s a story about hope, friendship and companionship in a time when we need it so much,” she said.
Towles’ last novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, was published five years ago. The novel was a bestseller and a finalist for the Kirkus Prize.
“Amor Towles is one of those authors that I think will become a Steinbeck of our generation, and you know it’s hard to say this about many books, but I think The Lincoln Highway will be a classic that we will read for years to come,” Hager said.
Towles reacted to his novel’s selection on Twitter, where he wrote, “Thanks @JennaBushHager for selecting THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY as your next #ReadWithJenna pick. I hope your viewers enjoy reading it! [author holds up Hi Mom sign.]”
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.