Matrimony: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

Matrimony: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

Joshua Henkin

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 030727716X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


It's the fall of 1986, and Julian Wainwright, an aspiring writer, arrives at Graymont College in New England. Here he meets Carter Heinz, with whom he develops a strong but ambivalent friendship, and beautiful Mia Mendelsohn, with whom he falls in love. Spurred on by a family tragedy, Julian and Mia's love affair will carry them to graduation and beyond, taking them through several college towns, over the next fifteen years. Starting at the height of the Reagan era and ending in the new millennium, Matrimony is a stunning novel of love and friendship, money and ambition, desire and tensions of faith. It is a richly detailed portrait of what it means to share a life with someone-to do it when you're young, and to try to do it afresh on the brink of middle age.

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Julian’s roommate, but not so bad, she told Julian, as to want him to return. She and Julian were alone, and they made love where they wanted to, in Julian’s bedroom, in the common room; they even made love on Julian’s roommate’s beanbag chair. To be nineteen and making love wherever you wished: this, Julian thought, was how a person should live. Mia was sprawled naked next to him, peaceful, recumbent on the beanbag chair, her eyes half closed, her hair touching his; the vinyl felt cool along his

anybody she didn’t love. Then a hardening set in, a calcifying of the heart, and you didn’t love anyone any longer, or at least you didn’t say you did, so that now she couldn’t remember the last time she’d said those words to anyone besides Julian, when there were other people she loved, her family, certainly. She nudged Julian out of bed and they shambled in their pajamas through the house. She felt desperate for him to know her better, felt a conviction that despite having been with her for

anybody she didn’t love. Then a hardening set in, a calcifying of the heart, and you didn’t love anyone any longer, or at least you didn’t say you did, so that now she couldn’t remember the last time she’d said those words to anyone besides Julian, when there were other people she loved, her family, certainly. She nudged Julian out of bed and they shambled in their pajamas through the house. She felt desperate for him to know her better, felt a conviction that despite having been with her for

schoolmarm,” he said. “I’m the guy reading the Times Magazine who exults when they mistake ‘forego’ for ‘forgo.’” “At least you’re not a prig about it.” “I hope I’m not.” Trilby canted her head as if trying to get a better look at him. Her hair brushed across the table. “Mia tells me I seduced her with Strunk and White.” “Did you?” “I guess I did. On our first date, I gave her the highlights of my childhood malapropisms. ‘No holes barred’ instead of ‘no holds barred.’ ‘For all intensive

year. Their car looked, Julian thought, like a woolly mammoth. All the cars in town did, rows of mammals frozen in mid-step, these lumps lining State Street and South University, an occasional headlight protruding. “We should just blowtorch the car and ride around in snowmobiles.” “It’s not the snow that I mind,” Mia said. “It’s how gray everything is.” At the clinic, there had been a rash of new patients. Second-semester blues, Mia’s supervisor said. Mia wondered whether it was seasonal

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