Books Over Brunch : Sunday, 26th September, 11am. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen.

The novel shifts back and forth through the late 20th century, intermittently following spouses Alfred and Enid Lambert as they raise their children Gary, Chip, and Denise in the traditional Midwestern suburb of St. Jude, and the lives of each family member as the three children grow up, distancing themselves and living on the East Coast. Alfred, a rigid and strict patriarch who worked as a railroad engineer, has developed Parkinson’s and shows increasingly unmanageable symptoms of dementia. Enid takes out her frustrations with him by attempting to impose her traditional judgments on her adult children’s lives, to their annoyance.

2 thoughts on “Books Over Brunch : Sunday, 26th September, 11am. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen.”

  1. A compelling read, very relatable and relevant, your heart breaks for the parents and their exceptional and talented children and the current family conflicts they find themselves caught up in, but there’s hope and they muddle through. Glad that I’ve read this. 10/10 but perhaps could have been a bit less lengthy. Once you’ve read part 1 you fly through. Good characters, the author sets the scenes well and describes the landscapes with skill and draws you right into the scene, be it the rainy street in New York, or a chilly wintry night in St Jude. Jonathan Franzen obviously has first hand experience of dementia, he describes Alfred’s condition and the indignities exceptionally well.

  2. A well written novel. I found the book enjoyable, easy to read and at times quite funny. My only criticism, it’s a bit of a lengthy read. However, what makes this an amazing book to read, is how Franzen describes the life events of a husband and wife as well as their 3 children. Alfred (husband and father) suffers with Dementia and physical ailments. The family are eventually forced to make decisions around what will best meet his needs. Franzen goes into depth around the intimate relationships of each family member. There are many aspects of their lives we can all relate to, for example, good and bad relationships, money and old age. This book provokes questions around how prepared we are for old age, what tools we have to navigate through poor relationships and resolving them without sitting in a permanent state of helplessness. I recommend this book and give it a full star rating.

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