the next good book


By Jonathan Franzen


562 pages

What’s it about? This novel centers around Walter and Patty Berglund.  Walter and Patty have created a life together, but it is not always easy.  Love and marriage are seen with all its flaws and imperfections, along with its many saving graces. What did it make me think about? How do some authors tell a story and share such deep truths in the process?   I loved “The Corrections” and yet I somehow left this book sitting on my shelf for at least two years.  Maybe the 562 pages had something to do with it?  What is the matter with me? I so enjoyed the story of the Berglund’s marriage.  Mr. Franzen tells us the story of a marriage, but his cast of characters and his insightful social commentary are what makes this novel so special.   Walter, and especially Patty, are such complex and quirky people that you cannot fail to be interested in them. The last 512 pages just flew by, and I am so sorry to have finished reading this story. Should I read it? You may find yourself thinking, “No Walter!, No Patty!”, but you will root for the Berglund’s all the way to page 562.  This goes on my list of great American novels. Quote- “There was, of course, no where better in the world to be than New York City.  This fact was the foundation of her family’s satisfaction with itself, the platform in which all else could be ridiculed, the collateral of adult sophistication that bought them the right to behave like children.”

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