Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Deliciously old fashioned
In the author blurbs on the back of Matrimony, Brian Morton, whose fiction I've enjoyed in the past, is quoted as saying: "Joshua Henkin's Matrimony is a deliciously old-fashioned novel. With no gimmicks, no tricks, Henkin gives us a cast of complex, flawed, utterly real characters, exploring their inner lives with an astonishing sureness of touch." I think this is a beautifully stated summation of the novel, which is filled with the quiet lyricism of everyday life. The story traces a couple's life beginning with their meeting in college, while also incorporating such challenges to friendships as time, class, and just plain life. I read several reviews complaining that the novel was too quiet, too focused on inner lives, but this (along with Henkin's elegant writing style) is what I found most appealing about it.