A sweeping investigation of human mythologies set against the political and social crosscurrents of the past fifty years. 

In the build-up to Christmas 1971, the pastor of a liberal suburban church in Chicago is about to leave his joyless marriage – unless his wife, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Heading home from college is their son, Clem, who has taken an action that will shatter his father, while his sister, Becky and longtime high-school social queen has dived into counterculture, and their younger drug-peddling brother is looking to become a better person. Each family member seeks a freedom that is destined to be complicated by each other.

Enhanced by his gift for melding the small picture and the big picture, Jonathan Franzen employs his characteristic humour and complexity to conjure a world that feels no less immediate.


Cover: Hardback

ISBN: 9780008308896

No. of Pages: 592

Dimensions: 159 × 240 mm

Published by Fourth Estate


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