Top positive review
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There but for the grace of God go all of us
on 1 May 2016
Based on other reviews, this seems to be a real Marmite book, with people either loving it or loathing it. I got it free as some kind of Kindle special offer and I was a bit apprehensive starting it because it has a lot of negative reviews. But luckily for me, it grabbed me immediately and I really enjoyed it. It is a family saga, centred around an ageing couple and their three grown-up children, and I think my enjoyment stemmed from the fact that the dynamics were so instantly familiar. I must admit that my pleasure was tempered in places by the fact that the familiarity was incredibly close to the bone. The story touches on many universal themes - the difficulties we have coping as we get older, the expectations that the older generation have of the younger generation, the need of the younger generation to build their own lives, and the conflicts that all this brings. Despite these "heavy" issues, the book has a humorous tone, and although it is very long, it is extremely well written. I haven't read any Jonathan Franzen before and I was very impressed with his literary style.