The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
YA | April 1, 1993 | Farrar, Straus and Giroux
THE VIRGIN SUICIDES by Jeffrey Eugenides has been out for quite sometime and this is one of those book gem whose movie version I discovered first before learning of its literary counter part. I skipped the movie because although I love Sophia Coppola, I can't stand Kirsten Dunst so I can't say if the movie is as awesome as the book was.
It was six years ago when I found a used copy of JEugenides' iconic work and I immediately devoured the book right away. For those of you who are unfamiliar or belong to the younger set, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is similar to John Green's Looking for Alaska and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. It's a dark coming of age story set in the suburbs of Grosse Point, Michigan back in the 70's featuring the Lisbon sisters who all committed suicide for unknown reasons. The story is told from the POV of one of the sister's admirers or neighbors who remained anonymous but was close enough to the Lisbons to witness the tragedy first hand.
THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is one of those stories that stayed with me for days and left me shaken, stirred, and on the rocks for a while. Like the boys the Lisbons left behind, I too searched the text and rummaged through their recollections as they reminisce their time with the sisters, trying to figure out WHY they killed themselves. Alas the answers remained elusive and like them all I ended up with are speculations but nothing too definitive. Were the parents too strict? Did the girls have extreme depression? Were they being abused behind closed doors?
JEginides wrote a thought provoking and emotionally stirring story that can be considered a classic. The writing style is affecting and the voice of the storyteller haunting in its emphatic simplicity. In hindsight, there's nothing truly special about the Lisbon girls aside from their beauty and the air of forbiddenness they have about them. The allure of the story lie on the guesswork to explain the successive suicides that happened and the big unknown that remains. THE VIRGIN SUICIDES might have been published over 20 years ago but I believe the story is far from outdated and I strongly recommend fans of John Green and Jay Asher to read this, I think you'll find it worth your time.