This book is everything that is right with modern literature.
Roth's prose is some of the most moving, beautiful, and honest that I've ever read. I have many, many favorites, but his work is so far beyond most things that are on the shelves these days that it warrants a brief mention, if nothing else.
And what a concept. An all-around champion athlete grows up to inherit his family's glove factory in Newark, New Jersey. He marries former Miss New Jersey, and they have a daughter, Meredith, whom they call Merry. They have the picture-book life, until Merry grows into the worst kind of angsty teenager. (Not the Twilight-watching, bitchy teenage girls that most families are familiar with...) She sets off a bomb in the local general store, killing a local doctor, in an attempt to bring attention to the war in Vietnam.
The entire book is about the main character's struggle with whether he and his wife are inherently to blame for what their child did. And since it's Roth, it's detailed and stark and it grabs you by the heart and won't let go.