Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dear Great Book Guru, I have loved your recommendations, especially last week's THE SENSE OF AN ENDING . I particularly liked it since I have always enjoyed reading about young people who are leaving school and trying to find life's purpose. I guess you'd call them books of passage. Can you think of another book In this category? A Lover of the Journey

Dear Lover of the Journey, I was away this weekend in sunny San Juan so my plan was to catch up on the many books I have stored on my Kindle. When it was first published in October, Gillian DiPietro had given me MARRIAGE PLOT by Jeffrey Eugenides . Based on her recommendation (and Daniel DiPietro's, too), I eagerly began reading it as soon as we took off from JFK. While a long book ( 416 pages), it was a quick read, I think, because of the constant shifting of viewpoints among characters. We first meet Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell on the day they graduate from Brown University. In alternating chapters, we experience the day from each of their perspectives. Madeleine is an English major who is the indulged daughter of a college president, Leonard is a charismatic manic- depressive science major whose parents have deserted him (as he recounts his history), and Mitchell is a religious studies major who is searching for spiritual enlightenment. Each of the men is in love with Madeleine who sees her life mirrored in the novels of Jane Austen. With graduation, the three set out to find their purpose and we are along for the journey: Cape Cod, Calcutta, Paris, Monte Carlo, and back to Providence- we get to experience it all through the eyes and egos of the threesome. I think you'll enjoy it!


  1. I loved this book as well. Was so looking forward to something new from Eugenides. Thought Middlesex and Suicide Virgins were both such memorable novels. I thought Marriage Plot was quite different from his previous novels - both in style and content, but equally riveting. I read an article in New York Magazine that said Leonard's character was based on David Foster Wallace and Mitchell resembles Eugenides himself. Apparently they were good friends, along with Jonathan Franzen and Mary Karr. Interesting article if you want to google it.

    1. Above comment posted by Cousin Cee.