Book: The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenides

By admin
03 January 2012

Rating: 4/5

It’s 1982 and Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell are about to graduate from an Ivy League university. Gentle Mitchell fancies Madeleine but she is besotted with brilliant, bipolar Leonard.

From this starting point Jeffery Eugenides weaves an absorbing coming-of age-story that explores modernism, love and manic depression.

Seeking spiritual purity and a way of forgetting Madeleine, Mitchell sets off to work in the slums of Calcutta. Madeleine moves in with Leonard who has secured a fellowship as a scientist at a research institute.

Their relationship soars and dips, mirroring the highs and lows of his devastating illness. As Madeleine starts questioning her choices her thoughts turn more frequently to Mitchell.

There are many layers to this novel – it can be enjoyed as a straightforward love triangle or picked apart on other levels. It’s funny, too – Madeleine’s hangover scene in the opening chapter is hilarious. And the tension built into the climax will have you gasping. A pacy, stylish read from a Pulitzer Prize winner.

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