The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen (2001)
The Lamberts are a traditional (repressed) mid-western family whose three adult children live on the East Coast, but return home (by their mother’s guilt trip) for a family Christmas. The children discover their father is not well, and while their mother claims everything is fine, in reality the Lamberts are in shambles. The book reveals what has become of the family, and follows the disastrous choices the children have made, and how that affected their life.
I normally love quirky books, and the classic story city life v. country life (as well as enjoying a bit of dark humor), but found this book to be too much. The characters are depressing, and I disliked everyone (I never realized how important it is to root for at least one person in the book). Meanwhile, the side-plots wander for pages, leading the reader away from the plot and lost in the middle of nowhere, and give the impression the book is going no-where. This book may not be my style, or I may have been in the wrong mood when I read this, but it wasn’t for me. That being said, I certainly can recognize some good writing, and remain open to reading Mr. Franzen’s other works.
Note: The book moves between the fictional mid-western town of St. Jude and New York