Genre: Literary Fiction
Length: 624 pages
Audiobook Length: 18 hours and 56 minutes
First Published: 2023
In the 1990s, Jack and Elizabeth met as ambitious college students, both dreaming of finding places for themselves in Chicago’s thriving underground art scene. Now, twenty years later, Jack and Elizabeth find that amidst the struggles of parenting and married life, they feel like they barely know each other. Between Facebook feuds and mindfulness cults, the pair each do the hard work to better understand themselves or they will risk losing each other.
Oprah Winfrey’s book club books are almost always guaranteed to be outstanding reads, but Wellness fell far short of her usual mark of excellence for me. Nathan Hill’s pretentious ramblings were more than I could take. You can tell Hill did a ton of research about sociology and human behavior, mostly because he insists on proving it to you by mentioning all of it. So many people say they love Wellness, so I forced myself to about the 180-page mark. But I hit my limit at the twenty-page rambling story about the mother feeding her picky toddler that resulted in her deciding she wasn’t soulmates with her husband. I do not recommend.
When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the ’90s, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in Chicago’s thriving underground art scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter cults disguised as mindfulness support groups, polyamorous would-be suitors, Facebook wars, and something called Love Potion Number Nine.
For the first time, Jack and Elizabeth struggle to recognize each other, and the no-longer-youthful dreamers are forced to face their demons, from unfulfilled career ambitions to painful childhood memories of their own dysfunctional families. In the process, Jack and Elizabeth must undertake separate, personal excavations, or risk losing the best thing in their lives: each other.