Book Review: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

RATING: StarStarStarStar

Genre: General Fiction | Literature > Young Adult

The haunting, humorous and tender story of the brief lives of the five entrancing Lisbon sisters, The Virgin Suicides, now a major film, is Jeffrey Eugenides’ classic debut novel.

The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters’ breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.

*****

I intentionally delayed reviewing The Virgin Suicides. I need the right frame of mind to fully disclose what and how i feel upon reading and finishing the novel. Eugenides’ writing is good, but I’m always after the story of a book anyway… and the Lisbon girls’ story is nothing short of a heartsore. 😦

I never found out why Cecilia killed herself. I can guess but I don’t think I’ll get it right. To lose the youngest member of your family… I could not, would not comprehend it. When Cecilia succeeded the second time, I was depressed. What could’ve push a child to greedily want death at that age?

There are two scenes that undeniably stood out and showcased Eugenides remarkable talent for writing. (1) Cecilia’s suicide being described as a disease that will eventually spread and catch by her sisters, and (2) Lux‘s promiscuity on the roof. I was utterly bewitched when I read these scenes. So i read them again and again, feeling awestruck after every reread.

The suicide of the remaining 4 Lisbon girls was not what I contemplated. Having said that, their deaths delivered more punch to my already crumbling heart. I could not fathom my child dying ahead of me, but Mr. & Mrs. Lisbon lost all of their girls. 😦 Such tragedy. At a time like this, being a parent seemed highly impossible. It made me think if I’m raising my son right.

There was a scene where the boys called the Lisbon girls and instead of talking, they converse in way of songs. I reveled in this part, I am so in love with it! A simple act of reaching out that spoke volumes in both sides. *sigh* It was so sad.

I hope suicide will never be an option for me and my loved ones as a way out. The Virgin Suicides taught me that help is just a hand away, you only have to reach out; love is just a walk away, you only have to take a step towards it.

Reading Buddies:

Angus of Book Rhapsody

Kwesi of Sweet Reads

Lynai of It’s a Wonderful Bookworld

Monique of Marginalia

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

  1. *tears in my eyes

    Oh my, I really need to watch the movie again. I cannot bear to reread the book in the next few years. And I was really waiting for your review. I thought you wouldn’t review it because of its sensitive issues, and now that it has slipped off my mind, I am surprised that you love it!

  2. Pingback: The Virgin Suicides- Jeffrey Eugenides | Lucybird's Book Blog

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations | reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

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