The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century —a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes.
After almost fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives.
The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself that, despite clear signs to the contrary, he is not clinically depressed.
The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly at his new line of work.
And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain over an affair with a married man... or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: to bring her family together for one last Christmas at home.
Stretching from the Midwest at mid-century to the Wall Street and Eastern Europe of today, The Corrections brings an old-fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions into violent collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care and globalized greed. Richly realistic, darkly hilarious and deeply humane, it confirms that Jonathan Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and American soul.