Dear Great Book Guru,
Last week I was with my friend Kathy Calzonetti at KC Gallagher's having one of their fabulous burgers when we both spotted a very interesting book jacket. There was an iridescent bird in the forefront of a beautiful sunset. Kathy insists the book's content is as compelling as its cover. I think the title was FREEDOM. What are your thoughts? Bird and Burger Lover
Dear B and B, I have to agree with your friend- FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen- although close to 600 pages- is a fast, worthwhile read because of its cleverly topical plots and exquisite character descriptions. The story lines shift back and forth effortlessly, beginning in the 70's and continuing to 2009. Walter and Patty Beglund meet in a Midwestern college in the 70's, each with a family history of damage they want to rewrite. Their two children- earnest Jessica and manipulative Joey-, close friend Richard- a sometimes struggling, sometimes successful musician-, the lovely competent Lalith- Walter's assistant and muse-, and assorted other friends and foes make for a kaleidoscope of a people we have come to call the Baby Boomers. The lauded athlete, the conservationist, the arms dealer, the rock star, the fan groupie, the cat enthusiast, the bird watcher, the Born Again, the perennial adolescent, the good mother, the wandering spouse- no one escapes Franken's clever dissection. By the end of the novel we are left to answer the question- are any of us truly free or are we all hostages of our history- national and familial?