Review of the book “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides.

“The Virgin Suicides” is the first novel by American writer Jeffrey Eugenides, published in 1993. The story takes place in the seventies in a city in Michigan, and follows the lives of five teenage sisters who are objects of fascination and mystery for their friends. classmates and for the community in general.

What do the five Lisbon sisters, writer Jeffrey Eugenides and director Sofia Coppola have in common? The answer is The Virgin Suicides, a novel that became a literary and cinematic phenomenon at the end of the 20th century.

The Virgin Suicides tells the story of the Lisbon sisters, five teenagers who take their own lives within a period of thirteen months, between 1974 and 1975, in a suburb of Detroit. The novel is told from the point of view of a group of boys who lived in the same neighborhood and who became obsessed with girls, trying to decipher the mystery of their existence and death.

Jeffrey Eugenides published the novel in 1993, when he was 33 years old. It was his first work and earned him recognition from critics and the public. The author was inspired by two real events: the suicide of two sisters he knew in his childhood and that of an entire family who hanged themselves in his garage. Eugenides wanted to explore the themes of adolescence, sexuality, religion, family and death, with elegant and poetic prose, full of metaphors and evocative images.

The novel was adapted to film in 1999 by Sofia Coppola, daughter of the famous director Francis Ford Coppola. It was his debut film and it also brought him great success. Coppola managed to capture the melancholic and dreamlike tone of the novel, with a careful aesthetic and a memorable soundtrack. The cast included actors such as Kirsten Dunst, James Woods, Kathleen Turner and Josh Hartnett.

The Virgin Suicides is a work that has transcended time and space, becoming a cultural reference for several generations. Its tragic beauty and its enveloping atmosphere continue to captivate readers and viewers who come to it. It is a story that tells us about the loss of innocence, frustrated desire and the impossibility of understanding the other.

The narrative is evocative and uses lyrical prose to portray the details of suburban life and aspects of everyday life in the 1970s. The novel is told from the perspective of a group of men, now adults, who remember the Lisbon sisters and their tragic fate. Through this memoir, the reader meets the Lisbon sisters: Cecilia, Lux, Bonnie, Mary and Therese, each with a unique personality.

As the story progresses, tensions within the Lisbon family and their increasing isolation from the community are revealed. The novel addresses themes such as identity, sexuality, religion and social pressure in adolescence. The Lisbon sisters are presented as victims of a society that leaves them behind and deprives them of their freedom and autonomy.

Eugenides’ writing is subtle and emotional, allowing the reader to connect emotionally with each of the characters. The author uses a non-linear narrative, jumping through time and space to create a feeling of disconnection and disorientation that reflects the emotional instability of the characters.

“The Virgin Suicides” is a moving and heartbreaking work that explores deep and complex themes. The novel is a reflection on suburban society in the 1970s, and how it can be oppressive and limiting for those who do not conform to the norms. Eugenides manages to create complex and realistic characters that stay with the reader after the novel ends.

In summary, “The Virgin Suicides” is an evocative and emotional novel that addresses complex issues such as identity, sexuality and social pressure. Eugenides’ lyrical prose and non-linear narrative create a sense of disconnection and disorientation that reflects the emotional instability of the characters. Ultimately, “The Virgin Suicides” is a moving and heartbreaking work that stays with the reader long after finishing it.


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