I won a copy of Matrimony by Joshua Henkin through a giveaway at April's blog Cafe of Dreams last fall. I saved the book to read for when I was hosting my book club. After an unexpected rescheduling from last month, my book club finally met last night to discuss Matrimony. The added bonus was an author chat with Joshua Henkin via phone. Josh has been so wonderful to work with and understanding of our schedule glitches as well. This was our first author chat and Josh was very gracious and kind and we all enjoyed talking and laughing with him as we picked his brain a bit about the characters, writing Matrimony, and even his own life as a husband, author and professor. He has a great sense of humor and was very kind and patient and even answered a question my 10 year old son asked him about being an author. We all had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed talking with Josh.
Matrimony is the wonderful story of friendship, marriage, trust, betrayal and choices we make in life that effect our present and future. Matrimony follows the ever changing relationship between Julian and Mia from when they meet in college and are dating to their marriage and struggles into middle-age. Julian comes from a wealthy background, the only child growing up in New York City. He heads off to college to a small college in Massachusetts and his dream is to become a writer. He meets Carter in a writing class and a professor that has a great influence on them both. Julian and Carter become best friends even though they have little in common and come from very different backgrounds. Julian comes from a wealthy background who wants to distance himself from that lifestyle and world and Carter who comes from a poor background and envies and aspires for what Julian takes for granted.
They both find girlfriends, Julian meets Mia who is Jewish and he is not and both come from very different backgrounds as well. Carter meets Pilar and they all end up being housemates and the course of their relationships start to change. Life events alter things and Mia deals with a family crisis and follows with her and Julian marrying. They marry earlier than they had planned and this decision alters their relationship as they move forward towards the next chapters of their lives.
The course of events in their lives as they move forward in their futures effect change on them all within their marriages and friendships. I read the book in two days as I wanted to find out what would happen in Julian and Mia's lives. The college days had a slower start for me and then I was pulled in through to the end. I found Matrimony conveys the message that every marriage is full of complexities and is different and unique in it's own way. To me it also highlights how choices we make and how we manage those choices effect us all in different ways. If you enjoy a novel with strong insights and one that is character driven, make sure that you read Matrimony.