Friday, 25 May 2012

Booklust Review: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

I put off buying this book for quite a while, mainly due to the cover art, the title and the synopsis on the back. Three pretty major parts when it comes to buying a book I guess. However, my preconceptions about this novel were completely wrong.

At the base of the story is a love triangle: Madeline: a bright and pretty English Literature student, Leonard: a ridiculously intelligent 'charismatic loner' and scientist, and Mitchell, a theology student, although not initially religious.

The novel is so much more than a love triangle though. I haven't read anything else by Eugenides (I know he wrote The Virgin Suicides, I've seen the film and bought the book recently - it's on my list) but I realised that there must be more to the novel than the synopsis lets on.

It begins at graduation at Brown University, 1981, and then travels through the stories of each of the protagonists. Each section is narrated by a third person, omniscient narrator, but also from the point of view of the character.
There's love, marriage, a divorce, reconciliation and a whole lot of other experience. Mitchell goes travelling to India whilst Madeline tries to decide what to do with her life. Ultimately, she is the only character who does make a decision, a conclusion. Each go on a 'journey', metaphorical, and in Mitchell's case physical.
It ends with a slightly open ended-conclusion, but I think that if there was a true reconciliation it would make the book cheesy, which is definitely not needed here.

The novel is ultimately a 'coming of age' tale, however, the way it is written makes it much more thought invoking, much more mature in a sense.
I just really, really enjoyed it, probably because I can definitely relate to Madeline in some ways, I even bought one of the books she is obsessed with after reading this novel.

Have you read anything by Jefferey Eugenides? What did you think?

Thanks for reading x


  1. I want to read this now! Like you, I've seen The Virgin Suicides and the book has been on my wishlist for a while but I've never actually got round to reading it.

    Laila x

    1. Read it, it's really good! Tesco sells the best books aha! Yeah, it's just great. I bought The Virgin Suicides the other day so I might give it a go soon. xx

  2. That Ice cream looks too good! Definitely needed a new book to read! Think this one is next on my list!

    I'm having a jewellery giveaway on my blog if you want to check it out :) xx


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