I read The Virgin Suicides back in 2000, I read that there was a film adaptation and I can’t watch the film version before I read the book and I was lucky enough to find the novel on the shelves of the local bookstore (back then there were only two indie booksellers now they’ve been taken up by chain stores) and I finished it in a couple of blissful sunny summer days.
What I found interesting about the books was that it’s set in present and a narrator is collecting items dealing with the elusive Lisbon family who have moved away. We then flashback to the time when the five Lisbon girls were the object of the neighborhood males and the novel takes place from the past on to the present day again (with the odd interjection on some artifact from the Lisbons).
Throughout the novel we see how the Lisbon girls try to interact with society and attempt to break free from their over protective parents but it seems that it always ends up as a disaster as none of the girls can really cope – the prom scene being one of the highlights. By the end the girls find their own way of escaping American suburban life and it affects their parents (and neighbourhood males) drastically.
Leaving the social commentary aside, The Virgin Suicides contains many evocative descriptions which heighten the reading experience, my favourite one being a stream of blood creating a pattern a toilet. The flashfowards are cleverly done as well.
A perfect novel? in every way and to be honest I don’t think that Eugenides as really managed to top it as yet. Sure Middlesex was great but did it make you emote as much as this book?