Crossroads: A Novel (A Key to All Mythologies, 1)
The three eldest Hildebrandt children are keeping secrets. The eldest son struggles with his privilege at college while poor young men are being sent to Vietnam. The middle son hides a drug habit, while the daughter enters a church group that borders on the fanatic. In Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads, it is 1971 and nothing is as it seems.
Russ and Marion, their parents, are also in the habit of harboring desires they don’t share. Russ, an associate pastor, lusts after a widowed parishioner, while Marion conceals her resentment of her husband’s weaknesses and her own dark past. They pass each other without words or kindness until a family tragedy forces them into each other’s space and demands they turn their attention back to one another and their family.
Franzen never writes characters I like; they are always selfish people trapped in their own smallness, often at the expense of the ones they profess to love. I don’t like them, but they are familiar. And that is ultimately the strength of his work. We are all, in one way or another, at a crossroads, and this book is a perfect representation of how we can try to see our way to the other side.
|Page Count||592 pages|
|Publisher||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|