I do not think I have ever felt a larger range of emotions than in these six hundred pages. I felt them myself and I felt them through the characters. There was anger, sadness, grief, happiness, love, ecstasy, emptiness, hatred and so much more. Franzen was unafraid to delve deep into the minds of the characters causing the reader to feel everything they felt. I am not ashamed to say I teared up a little at certain points and I also laughed a lot. However, it is the moments where the emotion seizes that stand out the post.
Towards the end of the book when all of these emotions were surfacing and fighting each other one line stood out from the rest. Tom and Pip are on the phone and right after Pip declares she knows everything, Tom responds, “Yikey. OK.” Instead of being angry or defensive or what not he says such an utter dorky dad word: yikey. This gives a brief pause to the utter chaos that has been the whole novel. A pause that let’s the reader see Tom is a dad even if he only recently found out he is one. He is all about Pip’s happiness and is willing to throw years and years of happiness without Anabel down the drain the minute Pip asks for it. Moments like this and the ones where Pip is comfortable with herself finally because of Jason that form a satisfying ending to a wildly hectic book.