While not all of what unfolds in Freedom is about fun, my gosh what fun it is to read excellent writing. One thing I so appreciated is that Franzen fully exposes his characters and in exposing them with neither didacticism nor sanctimoniousness, he lays bare what at first I saw as others' limitations and flaws and then suddenly (even smilingly) I’d see as my own. To me, this was a rare treat of a comic-anti-heroic-realistic-rich-nuanced-fully textured read. I called my best friend and implored her to read it because I need to spread the love.
February 2011I loved this big, gorgeous novel in which characters and story lines flow, merge, and diverge like the streams and channels of a river. The story spans more than 100 years in the fictional town of Port Bonita, Washington, and its surrounding wilderness. Evison pulls together such grand themes as our relationship to the land, what we make of our past, and what we owe the future. His writing style is unpretentious and delightful, a combination of big ideas and down-to-earth, friendly delivery that's perfectly suited to this quintessentially American novel. -- Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop &, Mendocino, CA
Set in the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington State's rugged Pacific coast, "West of Here" is propelled by a story that both re-creates and celebrates the American experience.