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Crossing the Lines by Melvyn Bragg
Crossing the Lines is the third novel by Melvyn Bragg about the Richardson family in Cumbria. In this latest installment tells the story of their son, Joe, in the latter half of the 1950s. Over the course of the novel, Joe moves from being a rural schoolboy to an Oxford undergraduate. Not only must Joe cope with the crossing from boyhood to manhood, he must deal with the class distinctions of society, first love, political consciousness, and life away from home. His parents also must bear their cross as they move into middle age and their son moving away from home. Crossing the Lines has received mixed reviews. The New Zealand Herald says, "The strength of the saga is private lives, not public life. The appeal of the books, and they are worth reading, is in the characters, from the original cast and the later additions."