Now, I've never been too thrilled about doing what everyone else is doing.
- At 12, I ditched my friends because it bothered me that we all did what one girl felt like doing.
- At 17, I got engaged and spent my senior year planning for the rest of my life instead of having fun with friends.
- At 19, I had my first child instead of working towards a college degree.
I may be a good 15 years younger than most parents at my kiddos' schools, I may occasionally find myself with fewer people to relate to than I'd like, but although it's been different, it has also been fun.
This itch to be different relates to The Marriage Plot in a couple ways. First, I'm having a hard time talking about a book that everybody else is currently talking about (but I'm getting past that, see?) Second, I had a hard time relating to the characters who were very "college track" --opposite of my alternate route.
The Marriage Plot is about three students in (and out of) their college years: academia circa early 1980s. It is about Literature, Science, and Religion (very Capital Letter subjects) as well as about mental illness, soul searching, and [a little too much] about sexual thoughts/experiences [for my taste] [which, I'm finding, doesn't take much].
I decided to read it because, having no experience with Eugenides (no, none), it showed up on my doorstep inside my Indiespensable shipment and I was curious what the buzz was about. I opened it to read the first paragraph and accidentally read the first 20-30 pages instead.
Reading this book was somewhat of an odd experience for me. I wasn't really "sucked in" to it, I had no problem putting it down and doing something else, the writing didn't strike me as incredible [readable but not quite remarkable], I couldn't relate to the characters or the setting, the story-line wasn't gripping, and yet I was interested. It was one of those strange times when I was reading the book and concurrently thinking that I wasn't enjoying it so much, and yet something kept me going (and I don't think it was only the fact that I was on a cross-country flight. I did have other books to choose from!)
It was the ending that made the book for me. It really brought the whole book together in a way that made it say much more than I thought it was going to. It made me think, which is something I appreciate. It made me feel, which is something I'd been missing in the story up until that point.
And so, reading a currently-very-popular book has turned out to be a pretty good experience after all. I must say that I think the trick is to get it read before reviews are swarming, otherwise I seem to put it aside (like poor State of Wonder and Night Circus--other Indiespensable selections) until a later date. And as far as Eugenides goes, though I've heard that his books are all very different in style, I'm looking forward to pulling Middlesex off my shelf and experiencing another angle of this intriguing author.
Title: The Marriage Plot
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Published: Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2011
Read for: Powell's Indiespensable
My Rating: 4 stars
|ELIGIBLE TO BE NOMINATED!|