Summary

What's happened to environmental lawyer and dedicated family man Walter Berglund and his wife, Patty-the perfect wife and mother and social conscience of their reclaimed neighborhood? Now he's working for a powerful coal company, she's become a shrew, and their son has moved in with the prim Republican family next door. Just think what the author of the National Book Award-winning The Corrections will do with this family. Consider multiples wherever high-end fiction circulates; I can't wait to get my hands on this one. With a one-day laydown and national tour.


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 neighbor, 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 outr; 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.