Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know by now that I generally only write reviews of books I enjoyed reading. My philosophy is that a good book should be talked about. Plain and simple.

That said, let's talk about The Marriage Plot! This was a delightfully complicated and beautifully written piece of fiction. Madeline, Leonard and Mitchell are just graduating from college in the early 1980s and trying to figure out where their lives are going. 

Madeline is torn between her manic-depressive boyfriend, Leonard, and her world traveling friend, Mitchell, who both love her. Though this is the central conflict, each of the characters have their own internal struggles to deal with and address so that by the end you've almost forgotten that you're reading a novel about a love triangle.

These characters aren't just graduating from any college, either. They're graduating from Brown University in Providence. The novel is filled with as much ivy as its walls can hold. The references to academia are frequent, but not so much so that they distract from the story. Madeline and Mitchell are both characters that can't walk into a scene without a book in their hands, but this is a good thing. It makes them feel like real people. 

This is a great book. I haven't had the pleasure of reading Eugenides other works yet, but after this, there's no chance I'd miss them.

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