Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbour, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter -- environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man -- she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz-outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival-still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become 'a very different kind of neighbour', an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes?
In his first novel since THE CORRECTIONS, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of FREEDOM's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 08 / 2011
- 197 x 130mm
Funny and heart-breaking
All at once funny and heartbreaking, Freedom is one of the few books that lives up to the hype. It follows the Berglund family, a set of real and complex characters, navigating our confusing and at times bleak modern world as best they can. Flawed as they are I can't decide if I love or hate the characters, all I know is that I couldn't put it down. Discussing some important and difficult contemporary issues its a important book, sure to become a classic, that will stay with you long after you finish it. Reviewed by 08sv