Review and Giveaway
Matrimony by Joshua Henkin
Fiction, Paperback, 291 pgs. (2008)
Publisher: Pantheon Books
From the cover:
" Starting at the height of the Reagan era and ending in the new Millenium, Matrimony is a stunning novel of love and friendship, money and ambition, desire and tensions of faith. It is a richly detailed portrait of what it means to share a life with someone-to do it when you're young-and to try to do it afresh on the brink of middle age."
Matrimony's strengths are twofold. Exceptionally smooth prose makes it an effortless and enjoyable reading experience. And emotional honesty offers us a wholly believable and satifying story. We follow a young Julian and Mia through their college years and an early marriage, to career choices and changes, the loss of a parent, and lingering doubts about Julian's ability to become the writer he wants to be. Their closest friends, Carter and Pilar, share those times with them and life moves forward as they spend some years both studying and teaching in different college towns. We watch them mature, gaining new insights about each other as parents age, friends split up, illness threatens, and an old secret causes a deep wound.
The author is clearly perceptive about the intricacies of relationships and of matrimony. We may see this as the story of a young couple's marital course but it is more. For there are in fact several marriages here when we take into account both Julian and Mia's friends as well as their respective parents. While our main interest follows them, each couple's relationship is unique and working itself out in its own ways too and we are privy to all of it. This is a quiet but solid story, driven by well-developed, complex characters whose lives we are seriously interested in. It's about life, long love, and friendship, and it's one story you don't want to miss out on. Four and a half stars out of five. Highly recommended.
Joshua Henkin has generously offered a signed copy of Matrimony to be given to one of my readers. It will come directly from the author.
1)To enter, comment on some aspect of the story that interests you. Tell us why you want to read it. Or, tell us how long you've been married or give us some advice on what you think contributes to a good marriage.
2)For a second entry, blog about this giveaway and leave a link to it in your comment. If you don't have a blog, email 4 friends telling them about this giveaway copying me at sfuhringer(at) sympatico(dot) ca.
You must leave an email address if you're entering the giveaway and don't have a blog where I can contact you.
Entry is open worldwide until midnight, Wednesday October 29, 2008.
Winner to be announced on Thursday October 30, 2008.