Berglund family (Walter and Patty, daughter Jessica, son
Joey) lives in Minneapolis (Minnesota) in a typical american suburb, with some
neighbors who come together on occasion. Each family can be seen from afar…
Carol Monagham, the neighbor of Berglund who lived alone with her daughter
Connie is now with a man whom some consider a little hick because he spends his
time tinkering loudly.
(teenager at the beginning) is fascinated by the sweet and seductive Connie.
The flirt soon turns to passion love, before Berglund parents realize. The news
is a bombshell when Joey decides to move in front of his parents, Carol home
with Connie. Connie is literally bewitched by the very confident Joey. For her,
life is to do everything to be with Joey and satisfying him.
But, this novel
isn’t simply a study of manners in the United States. Jonathan Franzen is much
more ambitious. He returned at length about Patty’s past, when she was a
student. She was a talented basketball player who lived primarily for her
sport. Rather naive in her love life, she has long relied on her friend Eliza
to protect her. But, that wasn’t enough, and she has come to understand that
Eliza saw things her way and had a special character.
setbacks, Patty falls in love with Richard Katz, a young musician she has
diffuculty approaching. She takes advantage of what Richard is friend with
Walter to show that she exists.
career of Patty is unfortunately stopped by a stupid accident. Patty then goes
to New York with Richard, when she had spent much time with Walter who was very
attractive but didn’t how to declare his love. Patty is very reluctant,
according to circumstances. She realizes that Richard the ladies’ man will not
be the husband she seeks. A bit annoyed by this turn of events, so she will end
up marrying Walter who is the ideal husband. Only delicate point, she unable to
forget her physical attraction for Richard.
It’s therefore the
knowledge of a classical trio which allows Franzen to adress many important
issues, showing their evolution. Thus, Walter will be hired by the Cerulean
Mountain Trust, headed by a rich man who had in mind to save an endangered bird
species, The Cerulean Warbler. Walter has
environmental reasons. Its main idea is to raise awareness of the
enormous potential danger of encontrolled growth of world population. His
envolvment in the Trust it seems in the right way. Unfortunately, he realizes
that huge sums are involved in a rash. Why save this species and not another
and for what price ?
At the same time,
the young Joey travelled the wide world in search of gear out of order that
could be recovered by the US military for recycling doubtful. He realizes that
the administration doesn’t care about his feelings. Asked to be quiet on the
aberrations observed. A lot of money flowing because the U.S. is at war…
The couple’s love
life Berglund took an unexpected turn. Walter has worked with Lalitha, very
young and beautiful assistant. As for Richard, became a reference in the rock
world, he approaches again Berglund couple. Richard is Walter’s best friend…
In the dense
novel, Franzen auscultates America today by examining its past. Many things
have changed and many mistakes were made, at the individual level as at the
national level. But we must live with this errors. Franzen shows this very well
by feel that the actions of each other arising from what they are and their
experiences. Everyone has motivations that influence the actions of others.
Complex and exciting.
Franzen made the
rounds of events in the United States since the Vietnam war, until 2001-09-11 and its impact on states and
individuals. He allows himself a confusing building by presenting the
autobiography of Patty as she was talking about another person. And his novel is large enough to raise major concerns of Americans over a long period. These
include the wars that have contributed to a certain image of Americans around
the world. And Franzen auscultates family, filial relationships and love, with
changing attitudes. He wonders what is the future of humanity. The search fro
freedom is threatened by the population explosion, isnt’ it ? How far can
we go this way ?
The style is very
pleasant and we plunge further in this novel. However I regret the king size of
the chapters. I struggled over the last 200 pages or so, with the impression
that the tension had fallen and that dragged on. The very moving last pages
show that the last part is important.
U.S.A. - ©2010
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