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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Marriage Plot

While I have not yet read The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex (both of which are currently in my library queue), The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides seemed a good a place as any to start on the road to completion of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Eugenides library.  Also, it came available from the library first, so there you go.

In short (and it is very hard to summarize this book, for reasons you will read below), it's the story of Madeleine and her bipolar boyfriend Leonard--but also about Mitchell, Madeleine's friend who makes up the third corner in this love triangle.  The book follows them through their senior year in college (which happens to be in the early 1980's) and beyond.

The reviews that I read prior to cracking open this almost-new book were mixed, and that is enough for me to pick up a book.  Curiosity killed the cat, or so I hear.  I will always be honest with you, dear review readers--and today is no exception.  This book was better marketed than it was structured.  I was originally going to say, "...than it was written," but that's not the case.  Eugenides constructs strong sentences and writes clear prose--it's not the writing.  My issue is with the story structure and it's length.

Overall there is nothing really wrong with the book--but there is nothing exciting about it either.  I felt the plot was so diffuse that I couldn't understand how it was all going to tie together.  I had no sympathy at all for the main female character (stop your whining! was what I wanted to scream at her while shaking some sense into her), and I couldn't understand why the author was covering so much ground in what I was not aware (prior to reading) was an epic novel.

If you are fan of the previous two books mentioned above, by all means, don't hesitate to pick up The Marriage Plot.  This is only my opinion after reading and I strongly encourage my readers to make their own assessment of literature.

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