For this edition of lit*chick online bookclub we are going to go include some questions from reading group guides. Matrimony is not just about marriage, it's about friendship and family and growing up. These questions were chosen because they touch on each of the different relationships in the book.
1. Novels about relationships are usually the terrain of women, but Matrimony is written by a man. How much does the gender of the author influence the narrative?
2. Discuss the relationship between Carter and Julian. What does each of them bring to the friendship, and how do they affect each other's lives? Discuss the relationship between Mia and Pilar. In what ways are both of these relationships competitive? How are they each rivals?
3. Discuss the marriage of Julian and Mia. How do they complement each other (or not)?
4. How much is Julian’s life ruled by the following idea: "Julian already felt, moments after graduating from college, that he was letting people down"? Consider which of Julian's decisions are either passive or made in order to please others.
5. Discuss the parent-child relationships in the novel. How much are the lives of Julian, Mia and Carter a rejection of their parents’ lives? Despite how much they try to get away from the patterns of their parents, are they successful?
6. Compare and contrast all of the couples in the novel (married and not). In total, what does the novel tell us about matrimony?
7. At the end of the novel, Julian forgives Carter. Do you agree with his decision?
You are free to answer as many as you wish. Or start a discussion about something I didn't ask. Joshua Henkin's interview will be up next week. If you have questions for him, go ahead and add to the comments.