The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Deborah A. Lott
Literature Instructor, Bridge Program
Adjunct Faculty, BA

I think Eugenides is a master of prose. Each sentence seems beautifully and carefully crafted. I enjoyed the trip into many separate universes. In a way, this reads like an old fashioned novel, and the main plot — who will the heroine wind up with? — was less interesting than the multiple worlds — literary criticism, of the 1980s, genetics research, Mother Teresa’s hospital in India, the treatment of bipolar disorder that Eugenides explores. This doesn’t feel like a book written to please an editor or an audience. It feels idiosyncratic and driven by Eugenides’ own interests. He also gets the voice of the upper middle class parents down stunningly.

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