Franzen writes about dysfunctional relationships (The Corrections) and this new book is no exception, the most dysfunctional being the marriage of Tom and Annabel. Indeed, there are NO normal simple relationships which becomes somewhat tiring. On the plus side, the story has more depth than his previous novels in part because of multiple locations. So not a must read but a challenging and interesting read. In fact, this is my favourite Franzen book but this recommendation is almost reluctant.