"A winning tale with a moral"
Alfred Lambert was the patriarch and the disciplinarian
of a family of five. However, he now suffers ignobly from
Parkinson's disease and has plenty of elder care needs.
His spouse Enid wants to remain loyal to her long time mate
and provider, or at least her memory of him. However, she
feels more like a hostage to his sickness though choosing
to ignore his illness and dream about anything more
uplifting to care about.
Their only daughter Denise begins a job in a hip bistro
in Philadelphia. However, she puts her work in jeopardy
when she begins an affair with her boss' spouse. The
oldest son Gary struggles with depression. With the help
of his wife he steps closer to the abyss of a breakdown.
The youngest son Chip loses his academic job due to a
student. He almost loses his life next on some fraudulent
scheme in Europe. The Lambert brood appears all ready to
self-destruct and yet each one keeps alive in their heart a
glimmer of hope for a better future.
THE CORRECTIONS is a humorous yet extremely serious
look at an American family against a backdrop of the world
scene. The story line is bitter, melancholy, and yet
somehow manages to be optimistic as well. Each member of
the Lambert brood is a genuine individual struggling to
cope with life. Though harsh in many respects, humor keeps
the novel from becoming too maudlin. Jonathan Franzen, who
writes a novel every decade or so, shows why he is one of
the best authors with this must read classic look at the
American way of life.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted September 3, 2001