Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey…

The Marriage Plot: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Jeffrey Eugenides

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6452351,450 (3.54)220
Title:The Marriage Plot: A Novel
Authors:Jeffrey Eugenides
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (2011)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 220 mentions

English (218)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (232)
Showing 1-5 of 218 (next | show all)
Very character driven, so I obviously loved it. It was also very realistic, from the anxieties of any college grad to the inner-workings of a woman's mind. ( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
Ugh. I had such high hopes. Included within the novel is an outstanding literary mixtape.*

*A caveat re: my review - this low appreciation may very well be directly to do with my own life inexperience. It's a blurb of a novel, so don't skip it on account of this review. ( )
  kat_with_a_book | Oct 15, 2016 |
Enjoyable, but Middlesex is still my favorite Jeffrey Eugenides book. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
"It's a love story."
"No, it's a coming of age story."
  SomeGuyInVirginia | Sep 6, 2016 |
Ugh... why? Jeffrey Eugenides' first book was about five suicidal sisters. His second was a Bildungsroman about an intersex person. His third is about... college grads trying to decide what to do with their lives. Gah, if I wanted a book like that, I'd write my memoirs. (And be completely unsurprised when no one read them.)

First we meet Madeleine, an English major at Brown University. She is a bit of an oddity because a) she likes to read and b) she likes "unfashionable" authors like Austen, James, Eliot, and Wharton. She is very attractive, as evidenced by the men around her finding her attractive. Eugenides spends pages and pages trying to convince you how special Madeleine is. (One sign is that she uses looseleaf tea instead of teabags.) The resulting portrait is of a pretty, sweet, naive, and dull young woman.

Despite being graced with more personality, the two male leads are not much better. Leonard is a budding scientist struggling with bipolar disorder. While his disease certainly makes him more sympathetic, it is no excuse for the way he treats Madeleine. (Madeleine pretty much puts up with his emotional abuse because the sex is so great.) Mitchell, a religious studies major, is a typical Nice Guy - the guy who becomes friends with you because he wants to fuck you. Unlike most love triangles, there is no reason to "ship" one pairing over the other.

The worst offense The Marriage Plot commits is that it has absolutely nothing new to say. I really hope that Eugenides didn't think he was being transgressive with the ending, where Madeleine rejects both suitors and goes to graduate school. The only way that ending would have been revolutionary is if it had happened in The Twilight Saga. ( )
  doryfish | Aug 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 218 (next | show all)
The novel isn’t really concerned with matrimony or the stories we tell about it, and the title, the opening glance at Madeleine’s library and the intermittent talk of books come across as attempts to impose an exogenous meaning. The novel isn’t really about love either, except secondarily. It’s about what Eugenides’s books are always about, no matter how they differ: the drama of coming of age.
No one’s more adept at channeling teenage angst than Jeffrey Eugenides. Not even J. D. Salinger.
added by LiteraryFiction | editNew York Times, MICHIKO KAKUTANI (pay site) (Oct 6, 2011)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeffrey Eugenidesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Асланян, АннаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
People would never fall in love if they hadn't heard love talked about.
~Francois de La Rochefoucauld
And you may ask yourself, Well,
how did I get here? ...
And you may ask yourself,
This is not my beautiful house.
And you may ask yourself,
This is not my beautiful wife.
~Talking Heads
For the roomies,
Stevie and Moo Moo
First words
To start with, look at all the books.
Phyllida's hair was where her power resided. It was expensively set into a smooth dome, like a band shell for the presentation of that long-running act, her face.
Even now, at bed-and-breakfasts or seaside hotels, a shelf full of forlorn books always cried out to Madeline.
That left a large contingent of people majoring in English by default. Because they weren't left-brained enough for science, because history was too dry, philosophy too difficult, geology too petroleum-oriented, and math too mathematical - because they weren't musical, artistic, financially motivated, or really all that smart, these people were pursuing university degrees doing something no different from what they'd done in first grade: reading stories. English was what people who didn't know what to major in majored in.
She used a line from Trollope's Barchester Towers as an epigraph: "There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel."
Reading a novel after reading semiotic theory was like jogging empty-handed after jogging with hand weights.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
English major Madeleine Hanna must choose between two suitors while working on her senior thesis on the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374203059, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2011: Even among authors, Jeffrey Eugenides possesses a rare talent for being able to inhabit his characters. In The Marriage Plot, his third novel and first in ten years (following the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex), Eugenides describes a year or so in the lives of three college seniors at Brown in the early 80s. There is Madeleine, a self-described “incurable romantic” who is slightly embarrassed at being so normal. There is Leonard, a brilliant, temperamental student from the Pacific Northwest. And completing the triangle is Mitchell, a Religious Studies major from Eugenides’ own Detroit. What follows is a book delivered in sincere and genuine prose, tracing the end of the students’ college days and continuing into those first, tentative steps toward true adulthood. This is a thoughtful and at times disarming novel about life, love, and discovery, set during a time when so much of life seems filled with deep portent. --Chris Schluep

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Madeleine Hanna breaks out of her straight-and-narrow mold when she falls in love with charismatic loner Leonard Bankhead, while at the same time an old friend of hers resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is his destiny.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
11 avail.
915 wanted
7 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.54)
0.5 2
1 26
1.5 9
2 100
2.5 34
3 323
3.5 120
4 384
4.5 70
5 145


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 109,735,270 books! | Top bar: Always visible