Book- The Marriage Plot
My book club met recently and we discussed The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.
To be completely honest, none of us finished it. Actually, one member did, but she couldn’t make the meeting. I finally finished it this week.
The book begins in Providence Rhode Island in the 1980s. Since I am very familiar with Providence at that time, the novelist made me feel that I was right back there on the East Side with Madeleine, Mitchell, and Leonard. The story of these three newly graduated students from Brown is told through each characters’ eyes. It shows them as they enter the new world of adulthood, where the walls of the Ivy League do not safely protect them.
Madeleine is an English major with plans to go to grad school. However, she has fallen in love with Leonard. She is trying to figure our how to handle what she wants for herself career wise and what she wants for herself in love.
Mitchell is not sure what to do after college, so he decides to get a bigger picture of the world by traveling. In his quest, he wants to find religion. However, he cannot stop thinking about Madeleine.
Leonard, who seems to have a brilliant and promising future, falls for Madeleine and is hopelessly fighting to get his manic depression under control. He is frustrated and finds himself losing.
The larger theme of the story is love and marriage. Marriage is all that Madeleine thinks about, as it is what her thesis is based upon.
Even though the story took place in the 1980s, it could have very easily taken place today. Today there is still much confusion for the twentysomethings as to where they are going in life. If you like character development, in-depth thoughts on religion, and many English references, then you should enjoy this book.
I found the beginning of the book to be tedious. The references to religion and English seemed difficult to understand for me. However, at the same time it was totally appropriate for being talked about by someone from Brown. I almost choose not to finish the book, but was glad I did. The book progressed through an in-depth look at these characters, as well as their flaws and goodness, too. I also got a better understanding of the struggles of manic depression.
Our book club has come up with a rating system. Instead of 5 stars being best and 1 star being horrible, we decided to rank on shoes, since we all love shoes. According to the two people who have actually finished the book, there was one 4 shoe and one 3 shoe rating.
If you have read “The Marriage Plot”, let me know your thoughts. What shoe rating would you give it?
For April we are reading, “Girls of Tender Age” by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith.