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The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy. This colossal tome is my touchstone.
I read it first in high school, and I still go back to particular passages from time to time. This was the first book that utterly floored me, that I filled with colored tags and notes in the margins. Whenever I reread it, I'm in high school again, melodramatically in love with a story. 

The Forsyte Saga is ridiculously long; it follows three generations of an upper-middle class London family, and even through their shallow worldview, Galsworthy manages to capture universal experiences. The biggest emotion in this book is the very relatable fear of never being able to measure up to your forebears.

Dang, this book! This was my first big lesson in grief, love, and the way people think, and I'm still learning from it.

Suzanne Wallace's picture

Suzanne Wallace

Suzanne is an associate publicist at Quirk Books. When she's not churning out press releases, she enjoys fairy tales, Welsh Corgis, and searching for an entrance to Narnia. If you've seen any mysterious wardrobes, please let her know. Email suzanne@quirkbooks.com with requests for press materials.