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

by Jeffrey Eugenides

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2,9561941,942 (3.53)174
Member:bonnieconnelly
Title:The Marriage Plot: A Novel
Authors:Jeffrey Eugenides
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (2011)

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» See also 174 mentions

English (180)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (193)
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
Madeleine, east coast Ivy League girl, And her unlikely love triangle. Tiresome characters in search of a plot which finally begins to be vaguely interesting two thirds of the way through the book. An excellent handbook on how NOT to make decisions. ( )
1 vote mojomomma | Jul 20, 2014 |
He has done it again! I must say that Eugenides is a very talented author--all of his works are unique, poignant, and thought provoking. In The Virgin Suicides he tackles suicide, Middlesex hermaphrodism, and now, mental health disorders--and love.

The three main characters find themselves in a love triangle when we first meet them on their graduation day. There is Madeline, the girl who loves books and wishes to specialize in Victorian books. Leonard, a biologist who we learn is manic depressive. And Mitchell, madly in love with Madeline, but goes to India to volunteer for Mother Teresa for a year, hoping Madeline will leave Leonard and marry him.

At the start of the book, Madeline is heartbroken because, when she confessed her love to Leonard, he blew her off--and she left. Leonard, thwarted by his emotional past wasn't retreads to say those words back to her, but didn't want her to leave either--at that time he ditched his meds and had himself a bipolar bender.

He's hospitalized and she comes back to him....and they live happily ever after....NOT!! You'll just have to read it to find out what happens. You won't be disappointed, although you may hate the characters.... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |


The elitism and esoteric references agitated me, yet.....I was into the story. Characters revealed themselves--not so much transformations into adulthood as peeling away the layers. ( )
  radspd | Jun 22, 2014 |
Much preferred over Middlesex, which seemed overwrought in the beginning and middle chapters at the expense of the end. This novel, though, had an ending difficult to anticipate (a problem I often run into, given the number of books and manuscripts I read), rendering it surprisingly lovely and much less trite that it might have been in less adept hands. ( )
  Seven.Stories.Press | Jun 13, 2014 |
While the situations and characters in this novel drew me in, I was left underwhelmed by the end. Eugenides gives the traditional marriage plot a modern (or 1980's) makeover but fails to give the heroine the pluckiness of her earlier literary counterparts. I found myself liking and siding with the other characters instead of the rather bland Madeleine. Still an enjoyable read overall. ( )
  emilyingreen | May 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (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)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeffrey Eugenidesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Асланян, АннаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
For the roomies,
Stevie and Moo Moo
First words
To start with, look at all the books.
Quotations
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:32 -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)

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