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The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

In The Marriage Plot, Madeleine Hanna is an English major at Brown University in the 80s, writing her senior thesis on the marriage plot in novels by Jane Austen and George Eliot. Madeleine is pursued by two men. Leonard is intelligent and charismatic, but prone to manic depression. Mitchell is a friend who's always carried a torch for her, convinced that someday he and Madeleine will be married. She loves Leonard, but must provide his emotional support while he suffers his manic episodes. Mitchell travels through Europe and India on a spiritual quest, but doesn't find what he's looking for. Jeffrey Eugenides novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Seattle Times saying, "We know, as Madeleine knows, how classic novels with a standard marriage plot will end: with a wedding. The Marriage Plot ends in a way both unexpected yet completely true. For these characters, who don't live in Jane Austen's world, no simple resolution will do for them in the world. And yet you close this book with immense satisfaction -- falling in love just a bit yourself, with a new kind of marriage plot."
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Buy The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Los Angeles Times review
by Carolyn Kellogg

Seattle Times review
by Moira Macdonald

New York Times review
by Michiko Kakutani

The Observer review
by Tim Adams

Washington Post review
by Ron Charles

New York Times review
by William Deresiewicz

USA Today review
by David Daley

The Independent review
by Nat Segnit

San Francisco Chronicle review
by Dan Cryer

St. Louis Post-Dispatch review
by Richard Newman

Jeffrey Eugenides
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