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The book I read this year that haunts me the most is Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads. I think that this is Franzen’s best work since The Corrections, for its pitch-perfect depiction of the cultural shifts of the late Sixties, and especially for the brilliance with which Franzen depicts the way those changes created seismic shifts within one particular family. I can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy…
— Bob Miller President & Publisher, Flatiron Books
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, KIRKUS REVIEWS, AND THE GUARDIAN Jonathan Franzen's gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.
It's December 23, 1971, and the Hildebrandt family is at a crossroads. The patriarch, Russ, the associate pastor of a suburban Chicago church, is poised to break free of a marriage he finds joyless--unless his brilliant and unstable wife, Marion, breaks free of it first. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college afire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem's sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high school class, has veered into the era's counterculture, while their younger brother Perry, fed up with selling pot to support his drug habit, has firmly resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threaten to complicate.
By turns comic and harrowing, a tour-de-force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, Crossroads
is the first volume of a trilogy, A Key to All Mythologies, that will span three generations and trace the inner life of our culture through the present day. Set in a historical moment of moral crisis and reaching back to the early twentieth century, Crossroads
is a sweeping investigation of human mythologies as the Hildebrandt family navigates the political, intellectual, and social crosscurrents of the past fifty years.