When I first read the synopsis for this book, I wasn’t impressed. It sounded a lot like chick lit. Don’t get me wrong, it is a genre I adore, but I expect so much more from Jeffery Eugenides. He’s responsible for two of my favourite books: The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, and since those are the only two novels he’s published, I was anticipating something epic with The Marriage Plot.
After reading the novel, I can tell you, it was not epic, and seemed a lot like chick lit.
The story centers around Madeline, an English major with a keen interest in the marriage themes in classic English literature. After college graduation she is finds herself in a love triangle with two of her former classmates. One is brilliant, but intense and struggles with mental illness, while the other is more spiritual, grounded, and pines for her from afar. The narrative follows the three though their first year after graduation from their ivy league college in the early 1980s.
If this had been written by anyone else, I would not have been just a little bit disappointed. Although this was a actually great novel, it just wasn’t extraordinary like his other stories. It was still enjoyable to read though, but if you’re a fan of Jeffrey Eugenides, you’ll find it’s not quite the kind of book you’d expect.