When the book starts out the detail in which Eugenides describes the setting in Providence and the Brown and RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) students on College Hill brought me back there in a second. He describes everything perfectly. I knew within the first few pages, probably because I still miss RISD more then I can say, I was hooked. In addition to transporting me back to Providence the characters are endearing even with all of their bad choices and turmoil.
The Marriage plot focuses mainly on Madeline and Mitchell two Brown University graduates in the 1980's. So far (I'm about halfway through) the story of Madeline and Mitchell is written in parallel with very little interaction between them. When they do interact, or their stories intertwine, it typically ends with them arguing. The story begins on graduation day in an economy that is in a recession and the lives of Madeline, Mitchell, and the people they interact with seems to be a mix of confusion and imbalance. Madeline is an English major who loves Austen and the great writers of the past but is living in a feminist world and is obsessed with the idea of the marriage plot in the novels she reads. She moves in with her boyfriend after graduation and heads to Cape Cod with him. Mitchell majored in religious studies and after graduation takes off on a trip to Europe with the main destination being India to further his studies and figure out what path to chose with his particular major.
Jeffrey Eugenides is a complex writer with a lot of great observation and honest view of things going on in the characters lives and the way people acted in that time period, in college, and being unsure of what comes next. He doesn't sugarcoat anything and parts of the story are a little uneasy but so far his writing style and the characters have me incredibly interested. I can't wait to find out what happens to Madeline and Mitchell and if the two stories merge in the end.
Have you read The Marriage Plot? What did you think?