It’s true, I really can read!
(P.S. A non baby-related post to boot!)
THE BOOK: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
My feeble thoughts: I actually finished this book last year (barely) but you know how I’ve been with blogging and managing my time. Let’s see if I can even remember back that far…
Really, Jonathan Franzen is quite the novelist. But this novel moved like sludge for me, especially the latter part. It follows a “perfect-on-the-outside” liberal middle-class family that set roots in Minnesota (woot woot!). Behind closed doors though, The Berglunds are struggling. Each of the characters are highly flawed and to be honest, fairly dislikable -therefore making it really hard to relate to them. You’ve got Patti, a vey attractive and talented athlete that settles down and gets married to a “nice guy” but whom she was never really in love with. Then there is Walter (the nice guy), a lawyer-environmental activist that is almost too pure, too moral for his own family’s good. They have two children: Joey (rebellious and charismatic) and Jessica (Miss Goody Two Shoes – is that not the stupidest saying?) who aggravate their parent’s already very weakened marriage. I was confused about the book’s layout and perspectives, since they change frequently. In the beginning, you get to learn a lot about Patti and what molded her as a young adult, but not necessarily about Walter. Later on, it focuses on Joey but never Jessica. I found this asymmetry confusing but maybe it’s because I didn’t appreciate the layers this book has to offer. And lastly, the ending was much too muddled with politics and logistics than with the relationships I was hoping would heal.
And the ending? I won’t give anything away but it was meh.
Would I recommend it to a stranger on the bus (trying to make his way home)? Yes, but only to more literary-minded folks, not those looking for a quick read.
What I am reading now: I started The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo while travelling to MN and have been perusing What To Expect In The First Year for a while now. I doubt I’ll be doing much reading when you-know-who arrives, but hopefully I can squeeze in some “reading for pleasure” time instead of worrying about all of the crap I still need to get done. It’s looking unlikely though.
Hubs is reading The Game of Thrones series and enjoying them. I don’t have the courage to start; those are massive books! Anyone else pick up a good spring read that they want to recommend?