Monday, October 06, 2008

Matrimony by Joshua Henkin

Julian and Carter meet their freshman year of college in Professor Chesterfield's, Fiction Writing Workshop. Their professor suggests they befriend each other because they are the only two with any talent. And so they do. Second semester they both find girlfriends, first Carter finds Pilar and then Julian finds Mia. Both couples find themselves still together senior year and also living next door to each other. They are uncertain what they want to do with their lives and where they will go.

The book continues on, flashing forward several years at a time to different parts in Julian and Mia's lives. Confessions will be had and changes will be made over the years. To me this is the study of Julian and Mia's relationship, Julian and Carter's friendship and Julian's battle with himself to finish his novel.

I rather liked this book. I like when a book or even a movie follows a character or two through the ups and downs of their life. You get to see them evolve. I was thrown for a loop about halfway through the book, I suspected what happened would happen later on. I was actually very excited to see where the book would go and how it would end.

Similar to American Wife, Matrimony was able to pick up jump to years later in these character's lives several times. They had new troubles and challenges then they previously had but they were still the same person. I love seeing a character from this perspective, you really feel you get to know them and understand them.

I really liked the details in this book, Julian going to Mr. Kang's grocery or talking to students in Caribou Coffee, if you can't tell Julian is my favorite character. Overall, I enjoyed this book, it's a quiet peek at one couple's life.

What's your favorite book that takes you through one or several character's lives?

3.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by author


  1. Anonymous7:25 AM

    Favorite book? Like in only one? No way I could narrow it down.

    Changing the subject. Who started Bookaholics Anonymous? I'll be over there later today and checked them out.

  2. J. Kaye- Favorite book that takes you through a lot of someone's life, maybe even series like Harry Potter! :)

    Kelsey started it based on a post/discussion that Reviewer X's posted this weekend. Fun stuff!

  3. I enjoyed Matrimony quite a bit too. Julian was definitely my favorite character too, although I also liked Mia quite a bit. I could see a lot of my husband and I in the characters (except for some of the experiences), which made it even more appealing to me.

  4. Matrimony was a neat book. Quiet like you say, and very character-driven. :-)

  5. literary feline- I couldn't personally identify with the characters or relationships, but i've heard a lot of people do. Anyhow, loved it anyway!

    marie- I remember reading your review awhile back and thinking that i might like it because it's character driven! I was right!

  6. I love these types of books so it would be hard to name just one, but among those I read recently, Superior Women by Alice Adams stands out.

    I'm waiting for my copy of Matrimony. I've heard so many good things about it and can't wait to read it!


  7. Anna- I'll have to make note of that book, thanks for sharing!

    Hope you enjoy Matrimony!

  8. Alea, if you're interested I reviewed Superior Women here:


  9. Anna- Thanks for sharing! I think i commented over on your review last night, or I imagined it!


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