I just finished reading "Freedom: A Novel" by Jonathan Franzen. It took me 2 months to read it, which should tell you something about how much I enjoyed it.
I think the story is ill-contrived. It's as if he never knew anyone to base these characters on, so they all come off like totally self-involved navel gazers. It was hard for me to like or identify with any of them. The only one who seemed authentic was the character of Richard, the self-centered rock star. And that may be because I've never personally known an actual rock star.
When I read a good, generational family saga I get immersed in the characters. In this story I felt like an uninvolved, impersonal witness/bystander. The fact that the ending was pure schmaltz didn't help much.
I would not recommend this read unless you are a psychology student/aficionado. I wish I had waited for its paperback publication.