I've read this novel three times now over the space of about fifteen years, and each time have found it a meaningful and rewarding story of life-long friendship and of the complexity of devotion. Ignoring every opportunity for literary gimmicks, schmaltzy emotional plays, and lazy writing, Stegner instead uses unvarnished prose and relies on the truth of emotionally honest, intellectually aware characters -- whose professional skills, not surprisingly, often mirror Stegner's own love of precise language and carefully built imagery. The only awkwardness to modern readers will be a few politically incorrect jokes, which serve as reminders of the time they mirror and if the time in which they were written. If a better novel of friendship and love exists, and if it can match Stegner's thoughtful, careful language, I'd like to know about it -- but even so, Crossing to Safety will still find its way to the top of every list of favorite novels I can make. This is a novel of great rewards for many different moments in life.