FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen
SAGE RATING: 7/10
Freedom is a story of compromises, of ideals lost and regained in a less perfect form. The main character, Walter Berglund, is a dreamer. He believes in true love, moral goodness, and the protection of the planet. Throughout the novel, his ideals are battered but not completely destroyed. His wife cheats on him with his best friend, his son goes against his values and becomes a Republican money-grubber, and to top it off, Walter’s initiative to create a natural reserve in West Virginia turns ugly as he realizes that the concessions he must make to finance the project will do more harm than good. Yet, despite these disillusions, Walter gets his share of peace and consolation in the end. He turns his lake house into a small bird sanctuary, his son matures and realizes he’s much closer to his father’s morals than to the Neocon ideology, and most importantly, Walter’s wife comes back to him and risks her life to save their marriage, finally proving to him that her love is true (though imperfect).
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What we disliked about the book:
Yet despite these flaws, Freedom has enough qualities for us Sages to recommend it.