July is my month and the book is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, a fellow St. Louisan. His first book, The Corrections, was about his family life growing up in Webster Groves. He has written many articles and book reviews. I refer you to two recent ones that shed light on the book's themes.
NYT publication of his commencement address at Kenyon College, "Liking is for Cowards. Go For What Hurts." May 28, 2011
New Yorker article he wrote April 11, 2011.
I really urge you to read Freedom. I think it's as important as the critics say. Even Oprah relented from her resentment over the first book (she chose it for her book list and he refused to appear on her show). They were both gracious this time.
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.