This novel written by Jeffrey Eugenides was published in 1993. It tells the story of the five Lisbon sisters who commit suicide. The story is set in the 1970 and is told by a few guys who once admired the girls from afar and try to contemplate their life years later.
The Lisbon girls, Cecilia, Lux, Bonnie, Therese and Mary, life with their parents who are quite strict. The tragedy begins when the youngest girl, Cecilia, tries to commit suicide by sliding her wrists. The paramedics manage to safe her. But a few weeks later when the girls throw a party to distract a little bit Cecilia jumps out
of her window, landing on the fence and being stabbed.
From there on everybody tries to cope with the situation. After some time things seem to go back to normal. When Lux falls in love with Trip Fontaine he persuades her parents to let the girls go to the homecoming dance. Lux comes home late and from that moment on the girls are hardly allowed to leave the house anymore, their mother makes Lux burn her Rock n Roll records.
Eventually the girls try to take up contact with the boys who tell the story in the book. They ask for their help to get away. But when the boys come to their house it turns out the girls all committed suicide. Mary who put her head in the oven survives at first but eventually takes sleeping pills and ends her life.
The story is told in great detail. The perspective is really interesting as the boys only watched the girls’ life from afar and themselves try to understand the girls’ lives. Throughout the first few pages it my be a bit difficult to realise who the narrator is but you get used to the style. The story itself is really credible. What makes the book so interesting is that it isn’t simply told by one of the girls but by spectators. Therefore you get a completely different lookout on the story. The characterisation happens through the eyes of the boys, making the girls the way the guys see them, not how the really are.
The book is a rather fascinating read although it can get a bit boring from time to time as there are many details. Th novel may not be mind-blowing but it is a really decent read.