At over 600 pages, Wellness is an epic novel that spans the lifetimes of main characters Jack and Elizabeth. Together for twenty years, the couple hits a rough patch and begins questioning whether they are truly meant for each other. Elizabeth is a perfectionist, and obsessed with research, psychology and learning. This translates to her feeling stuck when her adolescent son Toby is acting out and seems so different from his peers, yet she can’t seem to help him. Meanwhile, Jack is under intense scrutiny at work and trying to reconnect with Elizabeth, who seems so distant and unhappy. By jumping in time, author Nathan Hill examines how the pair became who they are, and whether they have truly changed from their challenging upbringings. I related with so much of the story, especially Elizabeth’s tendency to find fault in herself and struggle with the shift to motherhood. Jack’s story was so moving – from his adoration of his sister to his fraught relationship with his parents. When he visited home as an adult, the realizations he had were so emotional and I teared up. I found this novel thought-provoking as it questioned so many of our assumptions about love and life.
|Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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