Susan Mann's Reviews > The Virgin Suicides

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
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Feb 20, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

The Virgin Suicides is one of those books I have been meaning to read for years; finally, I got around to it. It is certainly one of the most memorable I have read. Very enjoyable, even though parts of the book are a bit gloomy, the storyline itself is one that help my attention and kept it there until the end.
The story is set in the 1970’s and is about the narrator’s obsession with a group of five sisters who all killed themselves and why they did it. These five beautiful and bright girls, do not fit into the world they were in, they despaired that no one understood them or that not anyone cared about how their lives would turn out, even their own parents. They took their own lives in protest.
Going from childhood to adolescence is a painful one, but these girls seemed to have more difficulty than most. Cecilia, was called “the weird sister” by the narrator, but at 13 already claimed the hearts of many boys in the neighbourhood, whom long after her death still obsessed over her.
Even at school they were never accepted by their peers, they were at a private school because their father worked there, but they couldn’t have the lifestyle that went with it, leaving them outcasts by their peers. Their father eventually divorced their mother, but had very little interaction with the girls at all. Their mother was the ruler in the house; she was the one who allowed the house to stay in the state it was in, dirty and living in squalor. She didn’t allow them to do the things normal teenagers go to do like date, watch television, read magazines. They went to church and school and that was it.
The girls feel trapped and isolated, is it any wonder they committed suicide, they felt it was their only way out. No one helped them or reached out to them in anyway.
By reading The Virgin Suicides I was reminded by how much I take for granted the opportunities I have available to me as a woman, compared to those of past generations who did not have such opportunities.
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