I finished my first book of the year last night, Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. I’ve never read Catcher in the Rye (how I made it through two English degrees without reading it, I’ll never understand), so this was my introduction to Salinger.
I loved, loved, loved the section about Franny. I liked the section about Zooey, as well, but I wanted more Franny! I did like that Salinger changed his voice a bit between the two stories. One thing that initially bothered me about Zooey’s section was how he lectured Franny so much. Then, I thought about myself as an older sibling and changed my tune. I’m constantly lecturing my brothers about something. Ultimately, it’s because I care about them, like Zooey cares for Franny, but I’m sure it gets old for them.
It makes complete sense why this book landed on the books-to-read-in-your-20s list. Franny is at this point where she is questioning a lot of things and trying to connect with something outside of herself and the lack of authenticity around her – this is something that your 20s are all about – attempts to sort out the world and where you fit in it, and determining where you land socially. Zooey is at this point in his life where he is not sure where to go next. He briefly mentions wanting to move out, but this apartment – as insane as it is – is home, and he is deeply connected to it. He has an incredible opportunity to travel overseas for work, but comes up with reasons why it would not make sense for him to go. It’s difficult to leave what you’re comfortable with, especially when you’re young and feel as though you still have so much time and so many opportunities in the future.
I think this will be a book that I come back to in the future and read again. And, I’ll be sure to read Catcher in the Rye!