Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Marriage Plot

Just finished reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides and I liked it. I liked the characters, for all their striving and humanity and failings, and I like the way Eugenides handled mental illness, and love, and infatuation. And I liked the ending, I think...and while I'd like to say more about it, I can't without giving it away. Those of you who have read the novel, I'd love to know what you think of the ending. Was it a cop out? Or so genuine and character-driven you went all-in for it? I feel a little short-changed, but maybe I just wanted something other than what I got...and maybe that's okay.

At any rate, this novel made me want to read Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides, which, somehow, I've missed.


  1. I never expected or wanted a happy ending. However, the ending was worse than unhappy. It took the progress of the three protagonists, everything they had worked toward throughout the novel, and destroyed it. Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell are each further from the realization of happiness and progress than they were on the first page of the book. I like ambiguous endings. I like unhappy endings. But I do not like an ending that invalidates all of the character advances that preceded it. I decidedly did not like the ending of The Marriage Plot--But I did like the rest of the novel.
    Very good blog by the way. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hm, I agree in part, but I guess I wasn't that surprised by the coming apart of the characters...I felt like it made sense in a way that I don't know if I can pinpoint. So for me it didn't feel like it invalidated them but now I'm going to be turning that over in my head for the next few days. Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing!