Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Virgin Suicides - Jeffery Eugenides

I'd previously read The Marriage Plot by Eugenides last year and was curious to read more by him. I'd heard a lot about The Virgin Suicides and decided to give it a try. It sounded intriguing and I was up for some drama.

The Virgin Suicides is told from a strange collective first person narrator, an aging group of boys that are remembering the Lisbon sisters that used to live in their old neighborhood. The five sisters, each interesting in her own way but remembered as a collective by the boys, all killed themselves one summer when they were in high school. No one ever really figured out why.

The standout character from The Virgin Suicides is obviously Lux, the one sister that becomes more of an individual in the eyes of the boys, separate from her sisters. She embodies what the boys think about the girls and is a shining example of an early manic pixie dream girl. She is the one that acts as a link between the boys that admire her and her sisters who seem to shun outsider attention. 

I'm still not sure how I feel about the narration, if you haven't noticed by the fact that I keep mentioning it. It feels really creepy to me, seeing how the girls are more of an idea to the boys than actual human beings. Also, due to the collective pronouns used, you're never sure who is actually talking, which adds to the creepy vibe.

I really enjoyed the plot, even with its strange self-destination type referencing. I honestly wanted to know how and why the girls killed themselves, since you're expecting it, it being the title of the novel and all. The lack of resolution only adds to the mystery, especially since you realize that of course the boys are never going to understand. They never truly understood the girls anyway. They were as close as outsiders ever got but they never understood and that is the true tragedy. Very interesting, very intriguing novel.

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