What to say about this book. The thought continually occurs to me that it is because I have a great grasp of and appreciation for modern literature that I enjoyed this book. Simply put, upon finishing this novel, I can say that it is perhaps my favorite book to date. The plot, a family reunion for one last Christmas together, is simple enough, but the way that Jonathan Franzen frames the lives of the characters within the book is stunning to behold. The characters all have vividly different lives that they live out, but their link back home to their parents seems to give them even more multi-faceted lifestyles and personalities than have already arisen from their circumstances. Franzen’s writing style is something that I found myself consciously admiring much more than once throughout the read, and I aspire to achieve his level of accomplishment in describing the middle-class life’s ins and outs. The story had its humorous moments, intensely immoral yet fascinating pitfalls, and moving scenes of a family wrought in five parts attempting to reconcile. If you have the time and the willingness to take on the baggage of the darker underbelly of living in modern society, I definitely suggest reading this book.