Title: The Virgin Suicides
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Genre: YA Fiction
Synopsis 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’s 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’ve been meaning to read this book for quite a while now so when an Independent Study assignment came up for English I thought what better? I’ve made about 7 pages of notes on this novel so forgive me if I’m not too keen on the details in this post. But I really really liked this book.
The Virgin Suicides could be set in any suburb in America, it could concern any teenage boy or girl in this world. It’s a highly generalised novel and that’s what I love about it, it could happen to anyone at anytime and that’s what makes it so relatable.
The novel is written in the most mundane way possible. The littlest details are delved into like what the Lisbon girls had for breakfast and it doesn’t get boring. All the way there is this underlying mystery and intrigue as to why the Lisbon girls committed suicide.
But the interesting part is, the novel isn’t centered so much on the suicides as it is on the boys who’re trying to come to terms with the girls’ suicide. For these teenage boys, the Lisbon girls are the epitome of adolescent fantasy so their obsession makes sense. As a reader, you get shocked with the boys, you fall in love with the Lisbon girls as the boys do and through their broad perspective you start to see the charm and the attachment that the Lisbon girls entail.
The novel is also very much trying to bring awareness to suicide and the causes and the increasing rate of teenage suicide. I like the honesty with which the problems are presented in this novel and they really make you reflect on happiness and society.
The novel is very much open to interpretation and it leaves a mark on you because you’re always left wondering, why did the Lisbon girls do it?