Book Report: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides is my favorite author. For a while, it was either Chuck Palahniuk, or Bret Easton Ellis (obviously during my edgy phase), but at this point, there is no contest that it is Eugenides.

Unfortunately, it is rare that Eugenides graces us with anything to read. Known for writing a novel once a decade, you can imagine how excited I was for the release of The Marriage Plot. I counted down the days, I marked it on my calendar, and then the day came and went without any big to-do on my part and I had pushed back my excitement of The Marriage Plot– until I opened it on Christmas morning.

I couldn’t wait to immediately dive in, get wrapped up in the characters, and completely lose myself in the writing. And although the poetry of the words, the complexity of the characters, and the deep emotions that I could empathize with were all there, something was missing.

This was no Middlesex, or The Virgin Suicides. There were no tears on my part, no waiting with bated breath to see how things would end up, instead it just seemed like another typical love triangle. Girl loves boy, boy loves himself, while other boy lusts after girl. Truth be told, throughout reading The Marriage Plot, all I could think was “if this is going to be the type of novel Eugenides writes, I expect him to release novels a lot more often.”

The one thing I did love about The Marriage Plot was that it was set in the early 1980s. One of the things I always love about Eugenides books is that he borrows heavily from his history, what he knows, and what he has experienced. Reviewing his personal history, and it is easy to see where many of the story ideas came from, and it always makes me curious to know more. Maybe he was once caught in a similar love triangle? Maybe some of the characters are people he knows?

Have you read The Marriage Plot? What did you think?


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