Finished July 15
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
This is a story of two people Patty and Walter Berglund, and their lives both as a couple and as parents, and as individuals, including before they became a couple. Patty is from the suburbs of New York City, a misfit in her own family, successful as a basketball player, but not meeting the expectations of either of her parents. Walter is from a small town, also a misfit in his family, an achiever in a family on unachievers, a man who cares about people, about nature, and about doing the right thing. They are both naive in their own way.
We see what leads to their meeting each other and becoming a couple, what leads to their marriage and life in Minnesota, and we see how their lives change, and how they grow apart from each other. Patty's attitude towards their rebellious son Joey moves from indulgence and pride to anger and estrangement.
This is a story of love, all kinds of love, romantic and everyday, familial and passionate. This is a story of marriage with all its intricacies. It is a story of family, of the expectations families have of their members. It is a story of people, with strengths and weaknesses unique to them, trying to find their way in the world and connect to each other.