Recalling the Virgins by Jefferson Cruz

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

After reading the first sentence of Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides, you fit into the shoes of one of the teenage voyeurs in the novel. From a distance you observe people's behaviors as a prelude to a series of disasters slowly progressing. And just like the other teenage boys in the neighborhood, you would like to see and touch the beautiful Lisbon sisters. But then you get distressed when the objects of your fantasies, Cecilia, Lux, Bonnie, Mary, and Therese, commit suicide one by one in a course of a year. A decade after the sisters' death, you start to piece together the puzzle from what you can take out from your memory. You start to solve the mystery by laying down the evidences and recounting the possibilities that could have triggered the suicides.

One of Eugenides' strongest qualities as a writer is his ability to ignite intrigue and mystery at the same time from start to finish. The novel welcomes readers with a concise narration of several suicides, focuses on the last, and flashbacks to the events before Cecilia's (the youngest sister) first suicide attempt.

The Virgin Suicides is a novel about the obsession for the inexplicable desire for the opposite sex which is forever unattainable. Perusing the novel requires much participation from the reader. It evokes emotion to the point of melancholy. At the end, you will conclude that there is only one word to perfectly describe Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides – elegiac. 

Published in Zee Lifestyle November 2010


Jayson Patalinghug December 15, 2010 at 8:06 PM  

pa borrow nalang ng book Jeff para di na ako bumili.... ehhehe

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