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Purity is a big novel that will support the existing view that one of our finest novelists is Jonathan Franzen.

The title character, Purity (Pip) Tyler, is a young woman of our time, a recent college graduate with no serious job prospects and a heap of debt. She becomes increasingly disturbed by not knowing who her father is, and signs up for an internship with The Sunlight Project, an internet outfit whose mission is to expose all sorts of secrets, because she thinks that TSP also might help locate her father.

The group is run by Andreas Wolf, who was born in Cold War East Germany, and his family relationships might seem to make Pip’s look like the Cleavers, but hers are not at all simple, either.

Psychological, political, and sexual constructs are formed by both state and personal dramas, and how they unravel forms a story with the sort of meaning one hopes for but does not often find in the modern novel.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar Straus Giroux) Recommended by RH at Square Books Oxford MS