Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen Book Summary
Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.
It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless—unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who’s been selling drugs to seventh graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.
Jonathan Franzen’s novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and for their keen-eyed take on contemporary America. Now, in Crossroads, Franzen ventures back into the past and explores the history of two generations. With characteristic humor and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that resonates powerfully with our own.
A tour de force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, its action largely unfolding on a single winter day, Crossroads is the story of a Midwestern family at a pivotal moment of moral crisis. Jonathan Franzen’s gift for melding the small picture and the big picture has never been more dazzlingly evident.
Crossroads (Jonathan Franzen) Book Reviews
MehI really wanted to like this more than I did. Intriguing story with truly unlikable people at the heart of it. And one of those books with too many words cluttering up the story. I like multiple perspective chapters which this definitely has… But just not as fabulous as I wanted it to be. Love the 70s and a lot of that I remember. Just truly dislikable people..Score: 3/5
One of the best!Enjoyed the plot and characters. Such a good writer!.Score: 4/5
Tired rhetoric.😳.Score: 1/5
Good read!This novel tells a good story about members of a family from several points of view. Jumps around in time but is engaging and makes you want to know what choices the characters will make at critical points in the family’s unraveling. I do wish the characters were a bit more sympathetic but still found them fascinating..Score: 4/5
Morose from the very outset.Overwritten. Even the first two pages are glum and depressing. Why go further?.Score: 2/5
FantasticGenuinely one of the best books I have ever read. The characters are captivating and you feel so deeply for them that you can’t stop reading..Score: 5/5
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