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Book Review of The Marriage Plot

The Marriage Plot
reviewed on + 289 more book reviews

The Marriage Plot was one of those rare books where I cared so much about the characters that I immediately wanted a sequel. Jeffrey Eugenides, having won a Pulitzer Prize for Middlesex returns with greater story-telling prowess. The Marriage Plot follows three bright Brown graduates during the year after graduation in the early 1980s; there are enough flashbacks to see their college experiences as well. Madeleine is an English major who writes her thesis on traditional authors whose novels revolve around the marriage plot. In her own life there's her boyfriend Leonard, a biology-philosophy double major and Mitchell, the Platonic friend drawn to religious mysticism. Instead of chapters, the novel is divided into parts that alternate between the characters, allowing the reader to see the same events through different perspectives. However, there's a lot of intellectual angst which might not suit readers not interested in academic discussions of semiotics, yeast biology, and religious texts. On the other hand, I enjoyed this as a coming-of-age novel in which the author revealed the inner workings of some fleshed-out characters and questioned whether our lives are necessarily part of a marriage plot.

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