“There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only of the truest things.”–Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
- Here’s what happens:
- Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell graduate from college in the 1980’s, enmeshed in the tribulations of deciding what to do with their lives as well as being implicated in a complex love triangle. Mix in some world travel, religious speculation, classic literature, and mental illness, and you’ve got this atypical and darkly illuminating coming-of-age story.
- It’s good because:
- Almost any book with protagonists aged 13-25 can be classified as “coming-of-age,” so the path of self-discovery can often feel familiar and repetitive. However, this story is unexpected, and is true to its characters, by not always giving them what they want (or even, letting them know what they want) while still allowing them to cultivate the wisdom and direction that young adulthood should bring.
- Read if:
- You want to discover one of the great American novels, before it’s actively being force fed to students who have to analyze the symbolism and diction of every chapter. This is an important and timeless novel, and you’ll leave it knowing you’ve read something very intellectual and profound, without the headache of having waded through the laborious text other classics tend towards.
Up Next: Ireland with Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes!