Jonathan Franzen: Crossroads

The latest addition to my website is Jonathan Franzen‘s Crossroads. This is another huge book from Franzen telling the story of a dysfunctional family (church minister father, mother, three sons and one daughter) set in New Prospect, Illinois, in the early 1970s. None of the characters can be said to be evil but all bar the youngest son make serious mistakes and do or say something nasty to at least one other character in the book. We follow in detail their back stories and their current lives.The minister-father plans adultery, the mother worries about her weight and her family, the eldest son drops out, the prom queen daughter messes up her life and the second son uses and deals drugs. The title, by way, refers to the general meaning of the term, the name of the youth centre where some of the action takes place and Robert Johnson‘s famous blue song of that name. Franzen tells an interesting and complex story of your everyday dysfunctional US family.

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