Freedom – It’s What We’re Reading

November 2010

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

“There had always been something not quite right about the Berglunds.”
Recently on the cover of Time magazine and selected for Oprah’s Book Club, it is easy to see Franzen more as the celebrity author than celebrated writer. In his fourth novel, Freedom, he once again explores the relationships, actions and consequences of an American family in Saint Paul, Minnesota. What begins as a description of a normal middle class family evolves into a story of their different decisions, conflicts and disappointments. The novel tells the story of the Berglund family from several points of view. The first section of the novel is seen through the eyes of their neighbors, who seem to delight in the family’s ups and downs, impatiently waiting for everything to fall apart. The rest of the novel deals closely with family and friends, with first-hand accounts from wife Patty Berglund, family friend and musician Richard Katz, husband Walter Berglund, and finally to Berglund’s son Joey, as he enters his first year of college. This isn’t just another book about a suburban family. Franzen’s attention to detail and sharp wit make Freedom worthy of the hype.

This book is held in the Library’s Popular Fiction collection.