In the early 1990s, Jack Baker, a budding photographer, left Kansas and moved to Chicago to go to school and prove his parents wrong, demonstrating that he had great worth. Across his window he finds himself mesmerized by Elizabeth Augustine, a brilliant student at DePaul who also has a backstory of childhood trauma. She too has been secretly watching him. And when they finally connect, it's true love. They become inseparable. Are they soulmates destined for a happy life? Over the course of two decades, the couple goes through life's ups and downs as they question their love.
At over 600 pages, Wellness by Nathan Hall is quite an epic saga. There's so much covered in the lives of Jack and Elizabeth and the changing world around them. While the relationship of the two anchors the story, this is also a shrewd, biting social commentary which tackles a wide range of contemporary subjects. It was no surprise as to the large number of books Hall notes as references on topics including medical placebo and wellness culture; marriage and parenthood; cultish behavior; social media, misinformation and conspiracy; gentrification and more.
This book is filled with happiness, sadness and humor. It's a lot to absorb but it's worth the journey.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Contemporary Fiction | Literary Fiction.
Publication Date: September 19, 2023.
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