Monday, January 23, 2012

Guys I Totally Finished the Marriage Plot

So I finished The Marriage Plot, and it is probably the last contemporary work that I'll read for the duration of the semester, excluding a few novels that I have to read for my junior seminar. Of course, I say that, and I'll probably be reading something else new next week. Right now, though, it's all about the 18th and 19th centuries. I'm just starting Zolfoya by Charlotte Dacre for my independent study. I'm super excited because I get to reread Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, which makes me sound like a hopeless nerd, but it's true. Love me some Bronte sisters.


Anyway, about The Marriage Plot. I'm a bit late to the game and there are about a billion reviews of this online already, so I'm going to try to make it brief. It doesn't help that I am pretty confused when it comes to my feelings about this book, so this post might be even less coherent than usual.

I liked The Marriage Plot... I think. I'm pretty sure I liked it. I read it all the way through, so that says something for it. I think my main issues with it were: 1) most of the characters were terrible (not terribly done, just terrible people) and 2) there was this weird thing with the timelines that kept tripping me up.

Madeleine, the female protagonist of the novel, drove me out of my mind. She was absolutely insufferable, and so was her boyfriend/husband Leonard. But I'm not going to talk about that too much because it's more of a personal thing and doesn't have very much to do with the merit of the book itself. Mitchell, the protagonist I thought I would like the least going into it, actually turned out to be the only one I could stand.

BUT JUST ONE MORE THING ABOUT THIS: So, like I said, I found Leonard pretty much insufferable, so by far the worst part of the book for me was the part where we had to go back and hear the blow by blow of Leonard's depression. It was painful to say the least, and I honestly didn't care.

The thing that bothered me the most, though, was the fact that we kept getting sent back in time, basically, to catch up on what happened with the other characters. Not that this isn't done in other books, but the problem with this one is that we kind of keep having to go through events that we either already know or can infer have happened. The clearest case of this for me came at the end of the book. Leonard and Madeleine see Mitchell at the party, and then they leave the party and break up. Then we go back to when Mitchell was still in India and have to retrace everything all the way back to the party. It just got tiresome and unnecessary.

So yeah, The Marriage Plot, I have feelings. I'm not 100% sure what they are, but I know they're there.


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