But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage... more
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 neighbor," 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.
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Ellen de Bruin I had a theory about that, but I looked it up and it turned out to be wrong. Jonathan Franzen said in an interview why he called it Freedom, that he gave the title to the publisher because he really, really wanted to be free. My theory was rather different. In the book, some people explore their own freedom in relationships with others – there is the boy Joey, Patty’s son, who behaves very badly. He’s really seeking the edge of freedom – trying to be really free in that family, and harming other people by doing so. Later on in the novel, Patty explores her own freedom in a way that harms her... (Source)