I read The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides last month, but I am just getting around to reviewing it now.
I had heard great reviews for this novel and Eugenides’ first novel, Middlesex. So, I picked it up for nook. Madeleine, a recent graduate of Brown, sits in the middle of this novel set in the 1980s. She comes from the world of country clubs, polo shirts, and the elite that her college friends scoff at and buck against while she finds it comfortable. Madeleine is also a budding scholar in the literature of Austen and her contemporaries, specifically, the marriage plot. She is torn between her infatuation with the unstable biologist, Leonard Bankhead, and her friend who wants to be more than friends, Mitchell Grammaticus.
I was compelled to read this book and find out what happened, but in all honesty, I didn’t like any of the characters all that much. Mitchell pulled at my heart strings in his devotion to Madeleine, but I didn’t agree with all of his decisions. Sometimes, I wonder if male writers thoroughly enjoy highlighting the worst aspects of people to make a point. I may seem shallow when I say this, but I really enjoy reading happier stories. I do enjoy books set in reality that don’t tie up perfectly well, but I think for my first book in the new year, I needed a little more happy. The book is wonderfully written. My emotions were certainly played with, and I am glad to have read it, but I will be seeking out some lighter material for now and a short classic here and there.
I give this book a 3/5.