SRQ Book Club: Fiction Book Review by BookStore1 Bookseller Roxanne Baker

Arts & Culture

Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen is his first novel since the National Book Award-winning The Corrections, where I felt like he was back in his element and true zone.  

Don’t get me wrong, Franzen’s non-fiction essays are always spot on, and while Freedom and Purity were both worthy novels, they didn’t move me as Crossroads did.  

In fact, Crossroads impact was so gripping that I was forced to ban the book as bedtime reading, since Franzen nails the unraveling of several characters’ mental health at a thrilling gut-wrenching momentum.

Crossroads takes Franzen back the best of his writing arsenal, nailing dysfunctional families.  Set in Illinois in the Vietnam era, Franzen depicts a church family of six vulnerable humans all with varied opinions on war, sex, drugs and religion.  

While you’ll surely have an opinion about who the hero is of this bunch,  you’ll definitely wrangle about your choice while admiring Franzen’s ability to capture the inner mind’s of real people, whose opinion and trajectory can change in a heartbeat, depending on the circumstance and information provided in the moment.  I admire this candor about the human condition as I am confident you will, too.

This is the first in a three-book series and with so many characters and all their possible outcomes, I can’t wait to read the next installment.  For now, be glad you can have the first one of your very own, by pre-ordering (the publication date is October 5) at  sarasotabooks.com or come in to see us helpful booksellers at BookStore1 seven days a week at 12 S. Palm Avenue Sarasota, 34236.

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