Undiscovered Gems: Point of No Return
Back again with another life-changing literary masterpiece you’ve never heard of by John P. Marquand.
Like Christopher Columbus with America, for us, John P. Marquand’s Point of No Return is less of an undiscovered gem and more of a rediscovered gem.
After all, Marquand, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was on the cover of TIME in 1944 as America’s most successful novelist—and made the cover again in 1949. Perhaps, these days literary authors just aren’t as big of celebrities, as Marquand never quite transitioned into the modern era: Both his clever literary novels about posh Bostonians and his series of commercial thrillers about Japanese secret agent Mr. Moto remain equally unknown. As does the author, whose Wikipedia-generated Facebook page has only 63 fans.
We, however, have rediscovered the gem that is Marquand and picked out his best work: Point of No Return.
Marquand’s book presents a classic dilemma: A businessman at a crossroads in his life is compelled to visit his hometown and the choices it represents. Its a classic midlife crisis tale full of memory and regret, but, as in all of Marquand books, melancholy is juxtaposed with dry wit and gentle satire of society’s elites.
Considered by critics of the time to be Marquand’s best work in a canon that includes the aforementioned Pulitzer, a National Book Award nomination, and more than a half dozen No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers, Point of No Return is just the mix of clever, witty, and poignant that we can’t get enough of.