We have a picture of my little 2 month old son, his dad, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather all sitting together on the couch last Christmas Eve. It's so amazing to look at these 4 generations of men and think about everything that has happened in their lives - and to think that someday my son might pose for a picture with his son, grandson, or even great-grandson. I look at Great-Grandpa and think about what an interesting life he has had. And I look at my son and think about what an interesting life he may also have.
Thomas Mann's novel Buddenbrooks has really gotten me thinking about family. This novel was amazing. So amazing in fact, that I read all 730 pages in less than 2 weeks. I simply couldn't put this one down. I obviously hope that my family doesn't turn out like the Buddenbrooks - the novel chronicles the decline of this once-illustrious German merchant family and ends with the typhoid death of little Hanno, the young son. It was very sad.
But I liked how no matter what they were going through in the story, the family remained very close. They had Thursday afternoons as family time when extended family members would come to eat. They had this cool family chronicle book handed down through generations in which all the important events that took place were recorded. And they generally had each other's backs. Although Antonie had to deal with 2 very bad marriages, she knew she could always come back to the family home. She could always count on her parents and oldest brother. And she similarly could always be counted on to support her family and stand behind them no matter what they chose to do. I liked their family closeness through good times and bad.
This is one of those books that I absolutely loved and would recommend to anyone. I'll definitely be thinking about this one for a while. This was among the best I have read so far for sure!