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This is a tragi-comic tale of the Lambert family, and Enid Lambert's attempts to get her three grown-up children to come home for Christmas for one last time.
The book is broken down into sections focusing on the stories of each of the five members of the family. The book is very well-written, and the little daily family incidents that can often seem mundane are raised to a new level through Franzen's eyes. Many of the observations seem vaguely familiar, such as the fridge magnets which are so weak that any vague gust of wind will send them flying, along with whatever they are holding. When the family get together in their various permutations, the way in which the characters each carry on their own conversation, and don't really listen to each other, is another familiar and funny aspect of daily family life.
However, this book is not consistent in its portrayal. There are long passages of descriptions, that I have to admit I skimmed over. The Lithuanian subplot, while amusing, is overly long and in my opinion goes into far too much detail.
When this book focusses on the family relationships, it is very funny and insightful, but, as I've said, its unfortunately not consistent all the way through. Still worth persevering with, though...
Matriarch Enid Lambert's attempts to gather her three grown children back home for Christmas, The Corrections examines their lives.