Whew, talk about dark and dreary novels, Jeffrey Eugenides‘ The Virgin Suicides takes the cake! In the same strain of writing as The Silver Linings Playbook [review here], The Virgin Suicides is the tragic story of the five Lisbon sisters of Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
The Lisbon sisters are the desire of every teenage boy in their neighborhood. The constant focus of gossip, these sisters have insufferable parents, including a micromanaging father who refuses to let them out of the house. The youngest sister attempts suicide and eventually succeeds, during the girls first and only chaperoned party, when she jumps out of a second floor window and impales herself on their fence post.
The girls react in an odd and stoic way, with the new youngest sister Lux lashing out in rebellion. She gets permission to go to the homecoming dance with her sisters. After a drunken night involving sex with the most popular boy in school, Trip, Lux does not return home before her curfew. This causes their father to tighten his security and defenses and the family lives in relative hermitism.
The story ends with the girls luring the neighborhood boys over to their house for a ‘party’ while their parents are asleep. The Lisbon sisters all commit suicide in a myriad of ways with the boys in the house to witness.
Like I said, DARK. Not an uplifting story in the least, but I found myself oddly drawn to Eugenides writing style. Great writing, sad, sad story!