Study Guide

Linda Hoffbauer in Freedom

By Jonathan Franzen

Linda Hoffbauer

Linda is one of Walter's neighbors in the newly built (and terribly named) Canterbridge Lake Estates. She takes great pleasure in defying Walter's attempts to stop local cats from killing birds. When Walter traps her cat and drives it to a shelter hundreds of miles away (admittedly, not his finest moment), she goes out and buys three more cats. Take that!

It's through Linda that we're re-introduced to Walter after Lalitha dies and he moves back to his mother's house on Nameless La… sorry, Canterbridge Lake. She thinks the guy's arrogant and obnoxious and a menace. She also thinks he's really creepy and assumes he kills her cat.

So it's quite a surprise for her when he and Patty reunite, and it turns out that Patty is the perfect neighbor and housewife. Patty charms everyone in the neighborhood (all of whom pretty much hate Linda).

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