Thursday, June 26, 2008

Matrimony by Joshua Henkin


Matrimony is a character driven book. While there are certainly events that happen, it doesn't have a pulse pounding plot. But it is very enjoyable. I happened to love the character of Julian, which is a relief since he was the main one!

The book starts out during the college days of our two main characters, Julian and Mia. Julian is enrolled in a creative writing course and I have to tell you, that was one of my favorite parts of the book because it was just so funny. I laughed out loud while reading it. Julian and Mia meet, fall in love, and stay together. The rest of the book is the story of them.

They travel around to a few different places throughout their marriage as Mia works on becoming a therapist and Julian works on his writing. Admittedly, I loved the parts about writing and Julian struggling with his writing because writing to me is the finest art. So that held a lot of interest to me personally, and I think that anyone struggling in a career in a creative pursuit would be able to relate to some of Julian's struggle.

There is also a college friendship that plays a significant role in the book, and there's a scene toward the end that I felt I could have written some of the words it felt so real to me. I can't say much more because I don't want to give anything away, but college friendships are different aren't they?

I'm not married so I'm no expert on marriage. But while this book's central relationship is a marriage, Henkin also explores friendships, adult child/parent relationships, and sibling relationships. It's a story about growing older and the passage of time and the ways in which your relationships and evolve along the way. It's a great read, but one to take your time on and savor. I have a feeling these characters will stay with me for awhile. Recommended.

Matrimony was published by Random House Pantheon Books and is available now.

Visit Joshua Henkin.
Buy the book.

11 comments:

photoquest said...

Meeting someone in college and following their life together sounds like a wonderful read. It's funny i tell my daughter all the time she'll probably meet someone in college get her school out of the way and start her life, so she needs to enjoy her young years in high school. photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Jessica said...

Thanks for the review. I love well-written character novels. Both the college context and the marriage context of this book intrigue me. I've heard about this book from a lot of people, and I think your review was particularly thoughtful.

Amy said...

This sounds like an intriguing book, which doesn't just involved a "love story", but a lifelong story of a family. I like the other cover better, too.

Amy@backseatwriter.com

Krista said...

I wonder if I would get the same things out of it as you since I am married... I met my husband in grad school and we went to the same college for undergrad so we have that in common as well...

.Books by TJ Baff said...

Your review intrigues me. I have many different views on marriage- the one that was modelled for me all of my life and the life that I am living. This book seems more like my own example of marriage as the couple share the same memories of popculture. We enjoy being the same age and having lots of the same memories of tv shows, music and movies.
I would like to read this book.

Holly said...

I've been anxious to read this. I have to admit though, I prefer the other cover!

Anita Yancey said...

I loved your review, and I would really like to read this book. You mentioned the funny parts, I really enjoy books that have some funny parts. Thanks for recommending such a good read.

stampedwithgrace said...

my dh and I met while we were both in college. this sounds like a book I would enjoy! my oldest is almost college age and I've been starting to wonder when and where he will meet his future wife!

Dar said...

This sounds like such a wonderful read. I really enjoy books that are centered on relationships-I find them so fulfilling.

S. Krishna said...

I love character novels, and like I said on my other comment, I was recently married so I really wonder what this book has to say about matrimony - maybe I can learn something!

blueviolet said...

This sounds so good because it's true. Marriage in the beginning is nothing like it is now. It's good but completely different. I would love to read the story and see how these characters have evolved in life together as and as individuals.
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

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