The past month, I’ve had a good bit of time to generally not do anything while I wait for my internship to start. Like seriously, I have walked around Berlin and woken up every day no earlier than 10. While this may seem a bit out of character for me (or not, whatever), I have really enjoyed not having anything to do. It’s been the first time I can remember since at least high school where I wasn’t running around or filling up my schedule with classes, organizations, or anything else under the sun. It’s been really awesome to take a step back and have the time to just explore my interests. While this had led to me coming up with a few plans for my post-grad life (which I will get into in another blog post), it’s also given me the chance to read for fun. I have had Jeffrey Eugenides’ Marriage Plot since it came out. It’s been sitting on bookshelves in Oxford, Olive Branch, Bremen and now Berlin. So, I figured I was long overdue to give it a read.
On the whole, I really enjoyed the book. This whole year I have been reading fairly light fiction with very little literary weight - I’m not Myself These Days and Where’d Ya Go Bernadette? specifically - so I was excited by the idea of this book. All of the main characters went to Brown and have very liberal arts degrees, so it gave Eugenides the chance to mention a breadth of literature, some of which I recognized but a majority I did not. It had an almost presumptuous tone, which I absolutely loved.
The one issue I had with the book, which is the same problem I had with Eugenides other book Middlesex, was the ending. In both books, I felt that he had executed everything well then just abruptly ended the book. While I didn’t really have an idea of how The Marriage Plot was going to end, I did have a certain expectation of how old the characters were going to be by the final page. Well, needless to say, I was way off. The ending was bad, just different, which is okay.
A large portion of the book dealt with students graduating and post-grad life, obviously with a focus more on the romance/relationships between the characters. It made me start questioning what I want to do with my remaining time at Ole Miss and some potential post-grade plans that I had somewhat sworn off. I read it at the perfect time, on the cusp of my senior year.
I would recommend it to fellow bibliophiles, but I wouldn’t consider it a must-read for those who don’t have much time or desire for reading. Take this (half-assed) review/description/commentary for what it’s worth.