book review: the marriage plot

I finished the marriage plot last night on the subway ride home from work.  it was one of those instances where i wanted the ride to be just a little longer so i wouldn’t have to put down the book before the last pages were completed.  but, thankfully, i read the last word as we were pulling into the york street station.

i’ve never read jeffrey eugenides before (even though i love the virgin suicides, a film adaptation of his first book) and i was happily surprised with this book.  about a month ago, i read a gate at the stairs (also very good) by lorrie moore , and the marriage plot reminded of that – a ‘coming of age story’.  the novel is set in 1982 and follows 3 recent brown graduates  - a manic-depressive, a scholar exploring his faith, and the female heroine caught between the two of them.  she’s writing her college thesis on 19th century literature, and the book somewhat mirrors the themes from these classics.  i think eugenides does a fantastic job of making you feel like you’re immersed in the characters’ experiences, and i liked switching point of views between them.  it was a mildly easy read (i’ve hear some people complain about the amount of literary references, but i think this was more of a positive than a negative feature of the book) with an interesting, thought-provocing plot.  overall, highly recommended.  4 0ut of 5 stars.