Dear Wendy Book Club: “The Marriage Plot”

OK, over-achievers, are any of you already finished reading The Marriage Plot yet? Halfway through? Haven’t even started? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to buy the book and join us. My copy just arrived yesterday and I’m hoping I can knock off at least 100 pages this weekend, but we’ll see; Jackson may have other plans…

If you want to check in with others who have started reading, feel free to discuss in the comments (please no giving away the ending though! And if you haven’t started reading or you aren’t very far along, you might want to skip this comment thread). We’ll have a more formal discussion of the book in the last week of January.


  1. callmehobo says:

    I’m still waiting for mine to come in the mail 🙁

  2. I’m skipping this one and starting We Need To Talk About Kevin for next month.

    1. Same here. I read the first chapter on Amazon and I wasn’t feeling it.

      1. Painted_lady says:

        I swear, it’s a slow starter. I have the audiobook and I’ve listened to it twice now…the second time I skipped the first hour.

    2. Yeah, this one didn’t really interest me. But I ordered We Need to Talk About Kevin for next month. 🙂

  3. I saw this post and was like oh no I’m so behind! But then I actual read what you wrote and felt better. I just started reading it on my iPad, I’m like 16 pages in on the digital version. I like it so far, hope to get more reading in this weekend!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I’m finished.

    Best Line: “people don’t save other people. people save themselves”

    1. I liked this one from Mitchell’s perspective a lot (not that I agree with the entire message, of course):

      “He thought about the people he knew, with their excellent young
      bodies, their summer houses, their cool clothes, their potent drugs,
      their liberalism, their orgasms, their haircuts. Everything they did
      was either pleasurable in itself or engineered to bring pleasure down
      the line. Even the people he knew who were ‘political’ and who
      protested the war in El Salvador did so largely in order to bathe
      themselves in an attractively crusading light. And the artists were
      the worst, the painters and the writers, because they believed they
      were living for art when they were really feeding their narcissism.”

      I really wish ebooks were properly paginated so I could cite this quote better…

      1. I am loving the book so far and loved that quote the most

      2. Elizabeth says:

        yeah that was a great quote and felt very applicable to today.

    2. I love that quote so much. I think the same goes for people changing. You can’t change anyone, you can’t make your overweight husband go on a diet, or make your friend stop making bad choices in her dating life. People only change when they want to change.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Exactly. Part of the reason that I think the ‘bad’ appeals to so many people is the thought that you can be their angel. In reality, it just causes a lot of frustration and heartache when one person is doing the dragging/nagging and the other isn’t ready or doesn’t feel the need to change.

  5. Addie Pray says:

    My book arrived this week… But I haven’t even opened it.

    1. Addie Pray says:

      I opened the book… but it was a different book. Still waiting for the Marriage Plot. Just to keep everyone up to date, because I’m sure you were wondering…

  6. I’m about 75 % through (according to my kindle). I can’t wait to discuss this book! At this point in the story, I’m really interested to hear what advice DW readers would give to each of the main characters!

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      That sounds like a great open thread (not necessarily like a weekend one, just like a random day in the beginning of January that is separate from the over all discussion of the book!)

    2. Painted_lady says:

      Leonard: If it sounds like a good idea, it’s probably a good sign that it’s the worst plan ever.

      Madeleine: Educate yourself on as many symptoms of your SO’s disease as possible. Also, what exactly do YOU want?

      Mitchell: I’m sorry, do you even know Madeleine’s middle name? Before you decide you’re going to marry someone, knowing the slightest bit about them – and what THEY want – is helpful.

      1. Hahaha…this is great! Wendy should have a thread where she gives advice to fictional characters.

  7. I just got mine in the mail today! (also got We Need to Talk About Kevin). I’m going on my Honeymoon in a week and plan on reading both of them then! I might start a little early if I have some free time before we leave though. I’m excited about both books!

  8. I got mine yesterday! I also got We need to talk about Kevin, The book thief (I browsed it a bit, what was I thinking? haha), and The remains of the day. Read a few pages while doing laundry last night. Should be interesting. Wonder if I’ll be able to finish reading it in a couple of weeks 🙂

    1. If you like The Book Thief, I actually think that Markus Zusak’s other books are even better – especially I Am The Messenger and Fighting Ruben Wolfe.

      1. Thank you for your suggestions. I added them to my wish list. I’ll get to them, eventually.

    2. The remains of the day is wonderful! i loved the book so much i’m not sure if i can bring myself to watch the movie, but who knows. haha.

  9. Just finished reading it earlier this week and started We Need to Talk about Kevin last night!

  10. belongsomewhere says:

    I’m about halfway through, but I’ve been about halfway through since the beginning of December (before my finals). I’m going to pick it back up this week. But I’m not sure how to even write/talk about it without giving something important away!

  11. I finished it because I wanted to know what happened at the end. It was good writing, but did anyone else think the story was a little too slow?

    1. yes, I am almost done and I thought slow is the word. I think it was i didn’t totally care about the problems of ivy league kids. Even though it wasn’t that they were rich, I feel like these uber intellectuals weren’t compelling for me.

  12. I’m about halfway through according to my Kindle. I’m not really a fan so far, but will finish it out of principle.

    I had read so much about how the character of Madeline is supposed to be so likable and a triumph as a female, and am absolutely underwhelmed. She makes me angry as a matter of fact, and so does Leonard. I’m hoping this changes by the end.

  13. I just finished it and I definitely did not enjoy it – I just didn’t find anyone likable and I felt like nothing really happened the entire book.

    Looking forward to discussing.

  14. I liked this book because I think it’s a good reflection of people trying to figure out what to do in that year after college. How at a young age you can choose a person so completely wrong for you. etc…Will be excited to discuss at the end of the month

  15. My co-worker and I both finished this book about a month ago and LOVED it! Because I, too, attended a small liberal-arts college (and majored in English) in the early 1980s, I identified with the story and all 3 characters to an extent. It was fun discussing the book with my co-worker, and I’m looking forward to hearing what y’all think as well 🙂

  16. AnotherWendy says:

    Only on page 60. My favorite line so far is when she goes to the Fellini film and it confused her: “…made her feel naive and suburban.” I was going to say I felt that way a lot I my college years, but there are still times I feel that way all these years later. It just doesn’t bother me as much as it did in my college years.

    1. totally agree. I think there were great quotes about life.

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