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Trouble is also brewing in the live of Enid's three grown children. Her older son, Gary, a banker in Philadelphia, has turned cruel and materialistic. The middle child, Chip, has quit his exciting job as a professor at D---- College and moved to New York City, where he seems to be pursuing a "transgressive" lifestyle and writing some sort of screenplay. Meanwhile the baby of the family, Denise, has escaped her disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain of an affair with a married man -- or so Gary hints.
Enid, who loves to have fun, can still look forward to a final family Christmas and to the ten-day Nordic Pleasurelines Luxury Full Color Cruise that she and Alfred are about to embark on. But ever these few remaining pleasures are threatened by her husband's confusion and unsteadiness. As Alfred's condition worsens, the Lamberts mush face the failures, secrets, and long-buried hurts that haunt them as a family.
Stretching from the Midwest at mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of globalized greed, Jonathan Franzen's keenly awaited third novel brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty, of Cub Scout and Christmas cookies and sexual inhibitions, into wild collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off patenting, do-it- yourself mental healthcare, and New Economy speculation. Deeplymoving, painfully funny, The Corrections confirms Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.
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