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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

This book is a profoundly insightful book, deceptive in it's complexity because it is presented in such a straightforward manner. I loved everything about this book except for the characters. For the most part, I would avoid having dinner with any of them, but the story itself is intriguing, and unfolds in a unique pattern, where we know things that happen later before we have the back story. Once we see where the characters have come from, it is easier to understand why they are where they are today.
In the simplest assessment, the story focuses on the marriage of Walter and Patty. Then the story unfolds to demonstrate all the factors that lead them to where they are in present day. They are shaped by their families of origin, and in turn they frame their children and their future choices. The story is not a happy one, nor is it a tragic one. There are things that we the reader see that the character is blind to, which elevates the book into the realm of a modern classic. One that reflects the society in which we live in the twenty first century in an emblematic way. the values we have, the politics that operate, and the priorities we hold are all very much in play in this novel. It is brilliant and vibrant, destined to be a classic.

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