Thursday, July 3, 2008
Joshua Henkin was gracious enough to offer me a copy of his novel Matrimony, and I'm so glad he did as I really enjoyed reading it. Matrimony centers around Julian Wainwright, a young man of privilege from New York City, who goes away to college and becomes friends with the people that will become the most integral in his life. We continue to follow Julian after college as he makes his way into the working world, as he struggles with what he wants to be doing and what he is doing, and the challenges he faces in his marriage. Matrimony is a quiet novel, and while it is about marriage I found it to really be about life, something we can all relate to.
Julian is a writer, and one of the things I most enjoyed about this book was reading about what it would really be like to be a writer. It seems to me a somewhat lonely profession, and challenging in that you have to keep putting yourself on the line and potentially face rejection repeatedly. It made me wonder if some of what Julian experienced was autobiographical for Henkin. I also enjoyed the setting of the book, which takes place in New York but also on several college campuses. It made me think back to my own college experiences which differ greatly from Julian's, who married his college girlfriend just as he was graduating. I did not have a serious boyfriend in college and did not marry until 6 years later, which for me was just the right amount of time to be on my own and figure myself and my life out. In the story, when Joshua and his wife Mia have trouble they seemed to deal with it in what I felt was a very immature way. It made me wonder how might marriages be different, depending on the age at which the parties married.
All in all, I found this to be a good read, a comfortable read, that made me think about things in my own life, but especially gave me insight into the life of a writer.
You can read Joshua Henkin's guest post about book groups here at Books on the Brain. I recommend it.
Matrimony will be released in paperback at the end of August and Joshua Henkin has kindly offered a signed copy to be given away here at that time. Do come back and sign up for the drawing in August!