The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A group of neighborhood boys are obsessed with the Lisbon sisters who begin a downward spiral after the suicide of their sister, Cecilia. The girls hold some sort of feminine mystique over the boys, something about them enthralls the boys, even though the boys know that they're not perfect.
They immerse themselves in the sisters' lives, collecting things left behind from to live through them. It went much farther than just teenage infatuation. The story is told in the collective voice of the boys' view of the sisters and their lives up until their eventual suicides.
I enjoyed this, not quite as much as Middlesex, but this was an enjoyable overall read. I watched the movie first when it first came out on DVD, and while I enjoyed it, I felt that so much had been left out, that that couldn't be all there was to the story, and it wasn't.
The story was a complex weave of things stemming from an overbearing mother and passive father to sex. There isn't just one thing that can be pegged for the eventual suicides of the sisters. Everything seemed to work as a whole against them, but then again, sometimes you get the feeling that it isn't the strict household or the teenage troubles that made them decide to kill themselves.
You're clued in only through the boys who really only have a limited knowledge themselves of what's going on with those girls. So, the reader is left to pick and choose what might have cause their decision.
Parts of this book did seem a little unrealistic. I think it was how sometimes the prose seemed to become too dreamy to be believable, but that may have been the effect that Eugenides was striving for. Overall, the prose was beautiful, the story touching and ominous. An excellent first novel.
Note: Old review imported from old book blog.
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