Book Review: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides


I’m a huge fan of Jeffrey Eugenides, of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex fame so was really happy when I spotted his new book The Marriage Plot while browsing W.H.Smith while waiting for a train.

One of the things I love about Eugenides is that each of the books I have ready is completely different, I don’t think I would even recognise them as being written by the same author, and The Marriage Plot is no different. We are taken on a journey to Brown University,  1982 as Eugenides tackles the issue of mental illness and the impact on life and relationships.

The story centres around the three main characters, Madeleine, an English student, her relationship with Leonard, a scientist who suffers with mental illness and Madeline’s friend Mitchell, who is in love with her. The story is an insightful look into the issues around youth, love and the realisation that a loved one is suffering from a mental illness and how that impacts on your own life and relationships with family and friends.

The interesting thing about this book is that although I enjoyed reading it, and Eugenides skill as an author once again shines through, I couldn’t find myself fully engaging and actually liking any of the key characters. This certainly didn’t seriously affect my enjoyment of the book or my appreciation for what is a really good read.


All photography taken with my iphone5, imagery belongs to Lilo Loves.

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