The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (read June 7, 2015)
This is one of my favorite books. The opening was captivating, the storyline itself was great, and the writing style was one I really enjoyed. I’m not completely sure what it is about the way it is written, but it was especially appealing to me, and stands out to me as unique. While it is another depressing book, it illustrates some internal struggles in a very real light. Cecilia’s diary brings up some superficial points that men may never think about, simply because they do not go through the same problems that girls do. When she is talking to a doctor after attempting to kill herself, the doctor is not empathetic at all to the thirteen year-old, saying “You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets,” which warrants her response “Obviously, Doctor… you’ve never been a thirteen year-old girl.” Cecilia also serves to influence her family, in showing readers various ways that people cope with tragedy.
While we know the narrators are neighbors to the infamous Lisbon girls, their status is somewhat of a mystery. They are rather distant from the girls for much of the book, only gaining their knowledge through keen observation and questioning those closer to the girls; however, they are also among the few that the girls invite into their personal lives. While I absolutely loved this book, it irritates me that the boys find themselves entitled to investigating and digging into the Lisbon girls’ lives. When people keep to themselves, they are not necessarily mysteries to be solved, and that right deserves to be respected. Their spectator stance is very appropriate to the story. The Lisbon girls were a mystery, that I doubt they themselves understood. The reader should also then experience the enigma that surrounds their house and clouds the air through which we see them.
Rating: 5 out of 5