The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
I found Middlesex to be fascinating not only for the writing but for the new-to-me lead character’s unique life’s journey. I picked up Eugenide’s latest novel hoping for the same jolt of eye-opening instruction. I got a soap opera. Very literate and literary but still a soap opera. This bit sums it up: “As it was, the whole thing was beginning to look fairly comical and Shakesperean: Larry loved Mitchell, who loved Madeline, who loved Leonard Bankhead.” For the three main characters, here are three blurbs:
Some people majored in English to prepare for law school. Others became journalists. The smartest guy in the honors program, Adam Vogel, a child of academics, was planning on getting a Ph.D. and becoming an academic himself. 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 try, 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.
From the things that came out of his friends’ mouths during visiting hours Leonard gradually understood that they thought depression was like being “depressed.” They thought it was like being in a bad mood, only worse. Therefore, they tried to get him to snap out of it. People brought him chocolate bars. They urged him to consider all the good things in his life.
What if you had faith and performed good works, what if you died and went to heaven, and what if all the people you met there were people you didn’t like?