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Whenever I go a while without reading fiction (pushing it aside for memoir generally), I end up asking myself what I was thinking. Especially when I read beautifully-written literary fiction like Joshua Henkin’s Matrimony.
I would suspect that those who are lukewarm about this book do not generally enjoy character-driven literary fiction. I would not recommend this book to fans of thrillers or suspenseful who-done-its, but if you like the slower pace and thoughtful style of literary fiction, Matrimony won’t disappoint.
But this is not simply a character novel. It is character-driven, but there is also a definite plot. We care about what happens to the characters, and the author successfully tells the story of Mia and Julian, Carter, and even the ancillary characters. The ends are tied up, but not so neatly that it doesn’t seem real.
This book is about real-life. We follow a real marriage (several of them actually), and through that experience the themes of friendship, aging, loss, forgiveness, and identity, which all come into play as we live out our own marriages.
This novel, just like real-life, doesn’t always contain a lot of drama. Good things happen, bad things happen, and through it all life goes on. That said, it’s not so real that it’s depressing. A friend of mine who prefers sit-coms to reality television or drama often quips, “My life is real enough.” Fiction should transport us to another world, and this book does that. The characters of Mia, Julian, Carter as well as the minor characters like Julian’s parents and Mia’s family and professor Wainwright quickly enter the reader’s subconscious, which drives you to read page after page wondering how it will turn out.
Another feature that adds to my enjoyment of a novel is a strong setting, and this one delivers by incorporating two characters: New York City and the distinct feel of a college town.
Read more about the book and the author at joshuahenkin.com. Read a related guest post about book groups from the author at 5 Minutes for Books.
Would you like to win a personally autographed copy? Leave a comment here. We’ll announce the winner in December 15’s column.
This contest is open to anyone in the world! Due to legal restrictions, this promotion is not available in Arizona or Quebec. Please see our site’s Terms and Conditions of Use for a complete list of our Contest and Giveaway Rules.
The winners of Too Many Toys are #101 Diane S., #165 Jayne, #65 Maja.
Charlene Kuser says
This book about a man’s journey sounds very
interesting.Please enter me and thanks
Phyllis Haner says
It would be something to win this.
Heather C says
Sounds like a good read. Thanks so much!
Sandy M says
I would love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!
Renee We says
I have enough of choas, twisted plots and mysteries for a while so this Matrimony story may have a calming effect.
Pamela White says
What a great book for me. I’ve been married for over 25 years and continue to learn new things.
Jeanine P says
Nice prize! I would love to win! Thanks so much for the giveaway!
Thanks for the chance.
sarah b says
sounds like my kind of read!
VALERIE MORGAN says
I need this for some personal vision………
Diana Corlett says
This novel sounds like a wonderful read. Would love to win it!
dlcwin AT gmail DOT com
kathy pease says
PLEASE COUNT ME IN ON THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY 🙂
Kathy D says
Love all the books you guys tell us about
Kathy D says
Deborah R says
Thanks for posting such a clear review – I prefer books that reflect real life, so “Matrimony” should be something I’ll really enjoy.
Vicky Boackle says
i love to read and this sounds good.
Veronica Garrett says
Sounds great. I would love to win a copy.
I would Love to read this!
Hesper F says
Looks like a fabulous read. I’d love to win this!
Kristen Hendricks says
I would definitely love to win a personally autographed copy of this novel. It sounds like a great read and I really hope I will get the chance to read it by winning it. This is a great giveaway. Thanks.
Rebecca Chavez says
Contest entry…thanks for the contest.
Cynthia Phillips says
Please enter me. Thanks.
Please enter me–thanks!
Carrie Baird says
Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the chance to win!
Carla Pullum says
Count me in!
Marion B says
Looks like a good book to read!
Carol LuBien says
Looks like a great change of pace!
Oh this would be great! I’d love to read it.
Renee G says
I’d love to read a copy of this.
This sounds like a wonderful book. I’m usually like that, I will read mostly fiction books, until I run out of them, and usually I come across really great non-fiction books, and I’m not sure why I usually stir away from them. I’ve never heard of this book, but you’ve peeked my interest! 😉
Susan Smith says
Sounds like a great book
I would love to win this. Thanks for the chance to win.
Kathy Conley says
This would be a great read!
Jennifer hedden says
Terra Heck says
I’d like to read this book.
I love a good read. Thanks for the chance.
sounds litke a pretty good book
REBECCA TOWNER says
would love to read this
jan koontz says
just to cool
Janet F says
janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com
Sheila Capell says
I’m all about a new book like this!! Sounds great, hope I win!! Thanks!
Christina G. says
Thanks for the giveaway!
DeeAnn S says
I read when I take time for ME. This would be a good read.
Mike Weisberg says
I want to win
michele anne jaquays says
What a great prize. I would love to win it.
Sounds interesting. Would love to win!
Susan C says
I have always loved books that contain the day to day happenings of domestic life!
smchester at gmail dot com
Kathy Scott says
This looks like a great book. Thanks for the chance.
sounds like a great book 🙂
pamela s scott says
I am a bookaholic, this sounds like a great one to cure my cravings…thanks for the chance…
Leona P says
please enter me
Amy Lathrop says
jennifer…this books looks wonderfully refreshing. please enter me!
Stephen Saunders says
please count me in. 🙂
Please enter me in contest.I am a subscriber.
Anita Yancey says
I have heard a lot about this book. Would love the chance to read it.
With endorsements from the likes of Michael Cunningham and Janet Maslin, and a comparison to John Cheever, this is a book I really have to read. Winning it would make that easier!
I would love to win, read and pass this book on to someone else!
Thanks so much!
christopher h says
I love to read! Count me in please!
Elaine R says
Sounds like a really good book-please enter me!
susan varney says
i’m a avid reader love to win
C. clemens says
great prize enter me please
i want to win.
Ronni Fox says
You can never be introduced to too many new and good authors..sounds like a great discovery.
Your review made me yearn to read the book. Thanks for the contest.
Adrienne Gordon says
i love reading
This book sounds right up my alley! I’d love to win!
I would like to read this book 🙂
Love to read, thanks for the chance to win.
Kristi Hatten says
sounds like a great book! i would love the chance to read it!
Mary Ward says
I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time now!
Alicia Webster says
This actually sounds like a book that I would really enjoy. I like the slower-paced, character-driven, slice-of-life type of books, so this sounds perfect for me.
Sharon Jones says
would absolutely love to win this…thanks so much for entry!
Thanks for offering this book as a prize.
Judith Rachmani says
Thanks for recommending this book.
Cheryl F says
sounds like my kinda book
Michael Capp says
I’d love to win!
Sounds like a good read!
I haven’t read any fiction in quite some time and I know I’m missing out! This one sounds like a “goodie” so please do count me in. I love character-driven tales.
Lucy K says
I just got back into reading and this is so my kind of book. Thanks!
Sounds like a great read, and maybe I could learn something too!
This sounds like a delightful read. My brain is full of murder and mayhem, and plots and secret societies. I think it would be a good time for some real life character driven reading! 😉
Lalycairn (at) gmail.com
Count me in! I’d love to be entered for this wonderful book thanks!
I am subscribed.
I have your button on my blog.
I think this would make great reading. TY
Would love this!
I love books like this. Thanks for the great review. I look forward to checking out the book!
Great giveaway! Please include me in.
Diane S says
sounds like a good read…please include me in the draw…thank you
Hip Mom's Guide says
Thanks for offering this one up. Throw my name into the hat with all of these other avid readers, please. Good luck to everyone!
Sonya Carey says
Would love it!Thanks for your generosity
Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks!
This sounds like a great book. Reading is a passion of mine!
Martha C says
Sounds like a great read!
I could use something different to break things up on my bookshelves. 🙂
I love to read. This sounds like a book I would enjoy.
would love to win
Kat R says
I would love to be able to read a book that doesn’t involve counting, colors and such, a little quiet time and a good book
Sounds great. I would love to read a “real-life” book! THanks!
Susan Heim says
Sounds like a great book! I would love to read it.
Mama Zen says
This sounds fabulous!
I am interested!!
Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the entry!
Tiffany Smith says
I would love to read this book!
This sounds like exactly the kind of fiction I enjoy reading!
Enter me please! I’d love to win!
The Diaper Diaries says
ooh, this sounds like it might be a good book club read.
terra jones says
I love to read! thanks!!
this would be great – i’m always looking for new authors!
You might be able to have too many toys, but never too many books!
Vickie Couturier says
Sounds like a lovely book,would like the chance to read it too,thanks
I will have to check this book out!
Sounds like a book with bits of wisdom in too. Count me in.
I’ve heard so much about his one – I would love to win it! And don’t you just love that cover?
Megan S. says
Sounds like a possible choice for our next book club read. Thanks for the review and the chance to win!
Sounds like a really good book. I would love a copy. Thanks for the chance to enter.
Yes, pretty please, I would love a copy of this book!
Michelle Wyson says
Sounds like it would be a great book to read. Please enter me in the contest.
Sounds like a great read! I’d love to win!
It sounds right up my reading alley!
The Mom says
I would love to read this book, thanks for the chance!