This month’s book was The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. Since we had read and enjoyed his earlier book, Middlesex, we were all looking forward to another good read. Unfortunately, despite its promise, this book ended up being disappointing on many levels.
The story centers on three Brown University students as they segue from the highly intellectual environment at a prestigious Ivy League school to the real world. It is a time of uncertainty and angst with which most of us can certainly identify. Love, guilt, mental illness, spiritual awareness, searching for an adult identity are pretty universal themes in “coming of age” stories. However, many of us felt that the characters in The Marriage Plot were generally unlikeable, making it difficult for us to care about their struggles. The love triangle never really seemed to fully develop and the book’s ending was somewhat abrupt and unsatisfying. Some of us were so put off by the overdone esoteric literary references at the beginning that we didn’t even finish the book. To be fair, this book probably is an accurate portrayal of a certain community, one with which Mr. Eugenides is familiar, but it failed to connect with us.
Let us know what you thought of The Marriage Plot!