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Fashion Book: The Marriage Plot

2012 January 26


For our February meeting, my book club is reading The Marriage Plot, one of the most buzzed-about books of 2011. FSG even rented a billboard in Times Square, an unprecedented move in the world of literary fiction. I’m just about three-quarters of the way through the book, so I’ll reserve my judgment for when I’m finished, but so far, I’m enjoying the book. It’s not Middlesex, but what is? I guess the only problem with writing a modern American masterpiece is that then you have to follow it up.

In Eugenides’ latest, Madeleine Hanna, Leonard Bankhead, and Mitchell Grammaticus graduate from college at Rhode Island’s Brown University and find themselves confronted with that age-old question: what now?  The book glides from perspective to perspective as the three do their best to figure out how to be adults.

This Fashion Book very nearly wrote itself: I was struck by the following passage, and could immediate picture Madeleine’s outfit–summer, 1982, Cape Cod.

“To meet her mother, Madeleine put on a pair of khaki linen shorts, a white blouse, and a navy sweater with a white striped V-neck. One good thing about being out of college–and living on Cape Cod, not far from Hyannisport–was that nothing now prevented Madeleine from dressing in the Kennedy-esque style in which she felt most comfortable. She’d always been a failed bohemian, anyway.”

The Marriage Plot


Have you read The Marriage Plot? What did you think?

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