Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Virgin Suicides

Title: The Virgin Suicides

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides

Number of pages: 256

Started: 29 May 2008

Finished: 4 June 2008

Opening words:

On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide — it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese — the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope. They got out of the EMS truck, as usual moving much too slowly in our opinion, and the fat one said under his breath, ‘This ain’t TV, folks, this is how fast we go.’ He was carrying the heavy respirator and cardiac unit past the bushes that had grown monstrous and over the erupting lawn, tame and immaculate thirteen months earlier when the troubles began.

Plot summary:

In a quiet American suburb an ambulance arrives outside a house where five sisters live. Watched by a group of adolescent boys, the paramedics carry thirteen-year-old Cecilia Lisbon to the ambulance, her slit wrists bound. Twenty years later, the boys, now men, are still in thrall to the Lisbon sisters, all five of whom took their lives that year.

Summary taken from Bloomsbury

What I thought:

I enjoyed this book. It was rather dark and macabre in its subject matter, but was underpinned by a somewhat dark humour that made it rather more of a light-hearted read than might have been expected.

It started with a tragedy and ended with an even greater one but it was interesting to see how the lives, and ultimately the deaths, of the five Lisbon girls had such a profound effect on so many people’s lives. We never get any answers and never truly know why they died but that isn’t really the point of the book and instead it paints images in your mind that make you wonder about the influence that others can have on our lives no matter how brief that contact might be.

No comments: