BIG THANKS to Josh for sending me his book to review! (and personalizing it too : )
“Matrimony” by Joshua Henkin
Published by Vintage Contemporaries, a division of Random House, Inc.
Rating: 4.5 stars
With all of the book blog buzz that has been generated about “Matrimony” in the past couple of months, I just had to read and review the book for myself. I was a bit worried that the book would not live up to its hype, as is often the case, but after reading the first few pages I knew I would not be disappointed.
“Matrimony” takes place over the course of twenty years, primarily following the lives of Julian and Mia, whose relationship blossoms in college and subsequently leads to matrimony. While it can be said that “Matrimony” is indeed a love story, I think it is really so much more. Relationships with family and friends are equally important elements of the storyline and shape who Julian and Mia are, as well as who they become. And as with any story that centers on relationships, themes of betrayal, greed, jealousy and death rear their ugly heads. However despite all the drama, there was never a point in the story when I felt like I was stuck in a contrived soap opera world. I did not need to be convinced of the plot’s credibility because I was already picturing it all unfolding right before my very eyes.
The true test of an author’s ability to depict believable characters is whether those fictional people are able to elicit genuine feeling from the reader. Regardless of whether a character inspires my compassion, admiration or even indignation, all that matters is that they are real to me. Henkin has succeeded in this respect, as Julian and Mia, along with most of the supporting characters, jump out of the pages and come alive.
What I loved most about the book is the way events from the past are so intricately weaved throughout the story and never detract from the main plot. It is the fluidity of the narrative that makes “Matrimony” such an effortless read and Henkin’s beautiful writing that makes it such an enjoyable one.
For more info, visit Joshua Henkin’s website and blog