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This is the first novel I've read by Eugenides... and I don't know why I haven't picked him up before! This is a wonderfully refreshing novel that takes an unique spin on life after college. The reader follows Madeleine, a self-proclaimed "Victorianist," Leonard, a temperamental but brilliant scientist, and Mitchell, the love-struck religion-seeking young man from Detroit, as they try to discover who they are (and what exactly to do!) post-graduation in the 1980's. Eugenides creates equally captivating narratives for all three characters that seamlessly flow and compliment each other without confusing the reader. I found myself identifying with the questions posed upon the arrival of Third Wave Feminism: "Is chivalry dead? Romance? How do couples navigate through domestic duties and finances? And what the hell is the purpose of marriage if it is no longer required in order to survive?" This is such a thought-provoking novel that I will be sure to recommend to fellow feminists, college graduates, and anyone looking for an excellent read! — Jess Hanlon
This book is Eugenides' present to English majors, book lovers, and literary theorists. It follows three Brown University students in the 1980s and chronicles their intellectual, emotional, and physical journeys to adulthood. Eugenides transforms the traditional "marriage plot" into something intensely gripping and real. — Lily Ringler
The perfect book for recent graduates! It’s OK to not know what you’re doing, to not know what you even want. Madeleine, Leonard and Mitchell take three paths, often intertwined, on the road to a foggy future. — Amelia Stymacks
“Have all the great love stories already been written? What relevance do Jane Austen or George Eliot have for today's woman? In the 1980s, Madeline is wrestling with these questions both for her college thesis and as a woman fielding the attentions of two young men. Leonard is charismatic, flawed, and tragic, so Madeline is, of course, drawn to him; Mitchell is a seeker who is trying to figure out how he fits into the general scheme of the universe, and he is totally smitten by Madeline. Eugenides has brilliantly succeeded in writing a new love story for our times!”
— Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Named a Best Book of the Year by
The New York Times Book Review • NPR • The New Republic • Salon • The Seattle Times • Houston Chronicle • The Miami Herald • Publisher's Weekly
"Remind[s] us with uncommon understanding what it is to be young and idealistic, in pursuit of true love, and in love with books and ideas."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"A grand romance in the Austen tradition."—USA Today
Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce?
It's the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes---the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned. Jeffrey Eugenides creates a new kind of contemporary love story in "his most powerful novel yet" (Newsweek).
“Eugenides's ability to reinvent the timeless tale of love and soul-searching is swoon-worthy.” —Vanity Fair
“I gorged myself on The Marriage Plot.” —Geoff Dyer
“A masterful storyteller.” —The Seattle Times
“Audacious and moving.” —Time
“Extremely ambitious...surprising, and propulsive.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Deeply humane and elegantly constructed.” —NPR
“The finale of The Marriage Plot is unexpected, beautiful, and---Dare we hope?---timeless.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A master of voice.” —The Washington Post
“Wry, engaging, and beautifully constructed.” —The New York Times Book Review