Molly's Reviews > Middlesex

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
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Oct 20, 14

bookshelves: finished-reading
Read in January, 2006

This book begins with the voice of Calliope, the hermaphroditic protagonist who narrates her (later his) journey to self identification and, ultimately, acceptance. While the premise I've described might sound schmaltzy, the narrator's self-affected distance, which can be trying, and the author's considerable skill, which is often a delight, makes the story an entertaining read. Eugenides is at his very best as he lays the foundation for Calliope's life in the history of her grandparents and their unconventional, but near-wholly convincing marriage. As the novel moves into an exploration of Calliope's adolescence, and particularly young adulthood, however, it becomes less pleasurable and more onerous. Indeed, this reader was left wondering why such compelling supporting characters were written out of the novel so soon. While I would not revisit this work again, I very much look forward to Eugenides' future work: I felt Middlesex was a substantially more-realized novel than The Virgin Suicides, and I hope his next book will be even better.
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