Friday 8 August 2014

Nostalgic Honesty // A Book Review- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides //

There is nothing that transports you better, to another time, another place, another world, than the compelling pull of a good book. Literature can whisk you away with the turn of a page, and for me, I've really got my reading game face on lately, devouring one novel after another. As I make my way through the depths of my 'to read' list, which is a weighty pile, may I say, I hope to share my thoughts with you on a regular basis, typing up a review or two and maybe even getting you chaps involved and share the book love all round!

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One of the latest books I decided to pick up was The Virgin Suicides written by Jeffery Eugenides. This is the debut novel from American author Eugenides, released in 1993, gaining such attention and accolade that a few years later the book was adapted to big screen by Sofia Coppola, (many of you will have seen this moody yet transcendent cinematic hit).

I don't think the scattering of lines on the back of my particular edition, really sell the story that well, and certainly give no indication to the nostalgic feeling when reading this or the particular writing style that lends itself so well but I'll go forth and share it for you, regardless;

The mysterious Lisbon sisters obsessed the entire neighbourhood long before the first suicide, of Celia, the youngest. Looking back over the strange and hazy year that followed, men recall the boys they once were, and try to impose order on a tragedy that defies explanation. For still, the question remains- why did all five of the Lisbon girls have to die?

I went into this story already well accustomed to the plot, having seen the film several times in my teenage years, but still held an anticipation of discovery and revelation, not having read anything by this particular writer before. I'm really glad to tell you that I was not disappointed. Yes, throughout the pages as I read, I couldn't help but envision the dreamy haze of Coppola's out look and the youthful air of Kirsten Dunst, but man is this one worth reading. I fell for Jeffery Eugenides fluid style of writing and felt he evoked wonderfully, that feeling of recalling an adolescent memory and the emotions that flood back with it. He captures the innocence of that unknowing age, the inexperience and naivety yet speaks with unashamed honesty for the voices of our narrators.

I didn't find myself particularly moved by the face of the suicides, it was more in the way the story unfolds for the girls, their yearning for something unknown to the simple creatures telling their account of the story, and it was those young men that caught most of my affection. Also, the almost indefinability of it all, leaving you with twisted emotions and not really a conclusion, lends itself to the more realistic nature of this subject. In reality, it is something unexplainable from one person to another, perhaps that is what is so intriguing about the sisters bond, even into death.

Over all, I would put this book in my 'favourites' list, as it struck a chord with me, and left a lasting impression once I'd returned it to it's shelf. I will certainly be hunting down more work from this author, and look forward to comparing the books and noting any progression or pattern.

This is one of those novels that splits the crowd into love it or hate, have you read this and if so, in which tribe do you reside? Do you remember watching the film when it came out, or have you recently discovered it? Let me know any thoughts you might have! Also, for another review of this book head over to the gorgeous blog The Blue Threshold (origin of above image), and for more bookish goodness check out my Goodreads lists and reviews!


  1. I've still not read this! Unbelievable! I love your review, you've definitely bumped it up a few places on my own 'to read' list. x

  2. I haven't read this book yet, but it's on my to-read list! I haven't seen the film either... I'll probably try and read the book first though. I love your review - you describe the book wonderfully :)


    1. Hey Gem, I'm always in favour of book before film! It just feels right ; )

  3. I adore the film! I should definitely read the book. I think it is always better to see the film first. Book then film is always a disappointment!

    Emma x