my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

October 30th, 2012

#52 – The Marriage Plot

The commentary that floats around the interwebs by some genre writers, okay, well, Jennifer Weiner in particular, about how novels by literary writers about subjects like love and family are treated much differently than when they are written by commercial authors. At its heart, The Marriage Plot, is a novel about a love triangle set in the early 80s at a very prestigious university (among other places). But it’s also so much more in terms of the themes that flow through the narrative–the implications of modern feminism, the quest for a more spiritual existence, the difficult and very trying reality of coping with a loved one with mental illness, they all meld and blend together as Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell graduate from college and start their lives.

Eugenides is an exceptional writer, but what’s more, he’s an exceptional novelist–the book is complete with rich, full characters who are both flawed and intensely drawn, which, when coupled with his gift for storytelling, makes for a novel that rips along. I couldn’t put it down and to say that I read it in one fell swoop while caring for a toddler–at the cottage–well, that’s dedication.

There’s a spark to the narrative that’s almost cinegraphic, whether it’s Eugenides contextualizing the time and place where the book takes place, or simply describing a house party where a piece of major action happens, the story rips along at a pace that I couldn’t match. I read this book as fast as possible, in almost one sitting (as much as one can sit with a toddler who needs to eat, be changed, be entertained), and enjoyed every minute of it. It was honestly the most enjoyable novel I’ve read all year.

One Response to “#52 – The Marriage Plot”

  • Kailana says:

    I have had this since it came out and STILL haven’t read it. Bad me!

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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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