I just finished Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
It is 562 pages of entertainment. I really enjoyed this novel mainly because the characters are so deliciously crazy. At first anyway. But I found that the more I read the story, the more I could totally identify with Patty Berglund. She was still nuts but I felt like I understood why. Here's what the front cover says:
Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban drawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
The story follows the Berglund family, Walter, Patty (the parents), Jessica and Joey (their children) as they each seem to be struggling with themselves and each other in order to live their version of a free life.
The characters were so well written and so flawed. But somehow, even with their flaws I still had sympathy for them.
The book was wonderful. As I was reaching the end I wasn't sure how the author was going to tie it all together, but he did and I wasn't disappointed. I highly recommend this one.