Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk came to my attention while reading The End of Your Life Bookclub. Originally published in 1955, the novel about a young Jewish woman navigating the dating scene in New York City during the era prior to World War Two was of interest to me.
Marjorie is a nineteen-year-old aspiring actress who falls in love with a confirmed womanizing bachelor while working at a summer camp. Despite his efforts, Marjorie maintains her innocence, but decides he’s her man and sets her cap on roping him in. This is a lengthy, slow story of seduction and heartbreak.
I stuck with the book long after it lost my interest for two reasons. I wanted to find out if Marjorie ever got her man and there were philosophical interludes of interest. I never could figure out why the author used a preponderance of female characters whose name began with the letter “M”. It distracted and confused me! Was this some type of literary device? I have no clue! In addition, Marjorie is portrayed as a beautiful woman never in need of a date. Personally, I didn’t find her to be any prize package. In fact, she seemed one dimensional. Perhaps her virginity made her appealing? Again, no clue on that!
I think there is some merit in this novel, but not enough to recommend it.