The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides; Reader: David Pittu (2011, MacMillan Audio)
Many readers may have heard of Jeffrey Eugenides for either of his first two novels: The Virgin Suicides, which is his first novel and was turned into a movie, or Middlesex, his second novel which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. The Marriage Plot is the third novel by Eugenides and came out in 2011. Like Middlesex it is a lengthy book, and also similar to Middlesex it creates a detailed and exact portrayal of the characters it follows.
In The Marriage Plot, readers not only get the narratives of the characters, but also the inner workings of their minds, their mental blind spots, and the underlying needs that drive their actions. The book takes place in the early 80's at Brown University, and follows three characters--Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell--as they graduate from Brown and maneuver into their first year of adult life outside of school. While Eugenides follows the characters using the overarching theme of romantic relationship, the novel is not so much about marriage as it is about people grappling with what it is to be human and to try to connect with other humans. The main female character confronts issues of feminism, while one of the male characters learns how to live as a medicated person with bi-polar disorder, and the other searches for spiritual meaning in his life. While these characters orbit each other and romantically entangle and disentangle with each other, it is their personal journeys that drive the novel.
The audiobook version of the novel is a delight to listen to (and we have this version here in the Sitka Public Library), and reader David Pittu does an entertaining job of making each character come to life with accents, and tonal shifts. Overall, The Marriage Plot is an entertaining and engrossing read.
Find this title in our catalog: The Marriage Plot
Recommended by: Brooke