I finally received the book I won from this book giveaway – I admit I wasn’t that enthusiastic when I saw how old and tired-looking the book was…
And so when I had a free moment, I took up the The Corrections: A Novel and started to read.
In case you forgot, here’s the synopsis (from Wikipedia):
Alfred Lambert, the patriarch of a seemingly normal family living in the fictional town of St. Jude, suffers from Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Enid, his long-suffering wife, suffers from Alfred’s controlling, rigid behavior and her own embarrassment at what she perceives as her family’s shortcomings.
Their children all live in the Northeast. Gary, the eldest Lambert son, is a successful banker who refuses to believe that he has clinical depression, and, as a result, becomes increasingly paranoid, suspecting that his wife and sons are conspiring against him.
Chip, the middle child, is a failed college professor whose disastrous affair with a student sends his life into decline and lands him in the employ of a Lithuanian crime boss. Denise, the youngest of the family, is successful in her career as a chef. Circumstances lead her to become involved with her boss’s wife.
The first few pages were dreadfully dull about Enid’s finding things where they weren’t supposed to be in the den. Although the blurb painted Enid as the “long-suffering wife”, I didn’t think so but hey, maybe I’m a Daddy’s girl like the daughter, Denise.
I’m only at page 92 and have only gotten acquainted with Chip (a LOT of Chip especially of his particular obsession with a piece of bedroom furniture or was it the living room furniture?) and a bit of Denise.
Poor Chip – During his parents’ visit, he’s had to remove ALL traces of his real life from his living room, bedroom and even the bathroom…
I’m starting to enjoy the book, especially Jonathan Franzen’s way of describing things in an extremely cynical yet funny way. He really has a way with descriptions and you know books with a lot of descriptions are rather boring. But not this one.
At the moment, I’m really sympathetic towards Chip because he sounds very much like the typical straight A student type who does his homework, listens to everything his teachers and parents tell him to do and tries really hard to be a “good boy”.
I find that Enid is the controlling one e.g. she insisted on reorganizing the living and dining room furniture to the extent of demanding that Alfred’s favourite armchair be moved out because it doesn’t fit in with her decoration scheme. Alfred decides to go with the armchair and retreats into the basement…
Frankly, I’m not very sympathetic of women / mothers / housewives who find trivial stuff like bedroom, living room or dining furniture more important than having her family together in one room.
When I was growing up, I remember visiting friends’ houses where they had 2 rooms:
a) A living room for “special guests” only. Of course, kids are not in that list because the furniture was all very grand and new-looking with cushions all nicely laid out. But you couldn’t sit on them!
b) Another room at the back of the house for “everyone else”. We could all go there and you will find the rest of the family there too. When we are playing together, my friends would be called on suddenly to go out and be with the “special guests”.
The poor fellows – they had to sit upright on the beautiful cushions and grand furniture but they were not allowed to move or talk. Imagine having to sit straight and stare at the wall (no staring at the “special guests”!) for nearly an hour O_O
When I read about how Chip has turned out, I’m definitely not going to be like Enid and remind Hubby not to be like Alfred either! We really want happy kids who are really happy with their lives – not kids who pretend to be happy when they are not.
And yup, we are buying furniture that EVERYONE can sit on ANYTIME.
Can’t wait to finish the rest of the book
- Everything Sucks, The Corrections or Seal Intestine Raincoat?
- REVIEW: Tales of Betsy May by Enid Blyton
- REVIEW: What Would Joey Do by Jack Gantos
- REVIEW: Boy by Roald Dahl
- Thomas and Friends Take-Along Tracks and Playsets