Posted by: Naomi | July 4, 2011

The Virgin Suicides

When I discovered the novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, I was immediately touched by his writing style and penchant for dark humor and exploring family secrets. I was deeply moved by his debut novel, The Virgin Suicides. I empathized strongly with the elements of sisterhood, family control, legalistic expectations, and the desperation to own something in your life, something that is wholly yours. I enjoyed the unusual way that the story was told, by a group of narrators that had become enchanted by the Lisbon girls when they were boys, and think often of them still, as grown men. The five sisters who committed suicide in the space of roughly a year tugged at my mind, plucking familiar strings and causing me to think–at times–that perhaps they were braver than I, when I was struggling with similar things. Although life is enjoyable and precious, the Lisbon sisters are viewed as too ethereal and unusual to be bound to this mortal earth. The boys came to save them, and would have gladly done so, but the girls chose what they felt was the best thing for them to do. No one has ever gotten over it.


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