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The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides: A Modern Classic

December 28, 2017

If you’re looking for an interesting read with interesting characters and vivid imagery, then you must read The Virgin Suicides. It’s an unusual mystery book with a hint of coming-of-age and a dab of family drama.

In a quiet suburb of the American Midwest, the five Lisbon sisters—beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys— commit suicide over the course of a single year. The novel is told from the perspective of these boys years later as they try to piece together the mystery behind these suicides, making for a coming-of-age story like no other.

The subject of suicide is a very sensitive one, and Jeffrey tackles it most vigorously and intelligently. He slowly exposes the conditions in which the girls’ lived in, highlighting the familial and societal factors that may have lead to their suicides. He shows the different personalities of each of these girls, the different levels and kinds of attention they got from their peers, and how none of it mattered when it came to their decision of taking their own lives.

What I love about this book is the depiction of the post-suicide transformation of not just the lives of family members and friends but the entire people of the town and its overall atmosphere.

Eugenides’ debut novel  has everything I love about a book, a killer opening, beautifully drawn characters that jump off the page, believable plot, intense buildup and a thick plot, intrigue, and a shocking ending. Dark, perceptive, and poetic, The Virgin Suicides is one book you won’t be able to put down.

The Virgin Suicides was December’s book of the month in the Keen Readers Bookclub. Next month’s book is Middlesex also by Jeffrey Eugenides. If you want to join the bookclub, simply like my Facebook page! Hope to see you there!

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