If you read one novel this month…
Read “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides.
I rarely buy new releases. Most often, I wait until way past paperback phase until I’ve heard enough commentary to convince me it’s a must read. But I was so excited about the release of this book a few months ago, I did something a little crazy… I bought the hardcover from a bookstore. Yes, that’s right, a bookstore (not Amazon!) and in hardcover (did you know hardcovers cost as much as $30 these days?!). With Jeffrey Eugenides, I was confident it would not disappoint. He could be writing about the Kardashians, and I would still want to read it.
While I admittedly was not a big fan of the characters, it didn’t matter. His writing, his insight into the female psyche (how does he do it?), his character development… It’s all so enjoyable that during times when I put the book down, it was never far from my thoughts.
He has this remarkable ability to provide a 360 view of his characters so that they become part of you. Not necessarily a part of you that you admire or love, but one that you understand. One that you appreciate, perhaps even respect, despite their downspiraling tendencies. Intertwining social commentary with the story, his insights are little gems I stored away to reflect on later.
As I neared the final pages of the book, I was nervous. I didn’t know how he would end it without being predictable or corny. But I thought the execution was perfect… Beautifully on point; satisfying, even.