Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book Review: Middlesex

Title Middlesex

Author Jeffrey Eugenides

Release Date September 16, 2003

"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license...records my first name simply as Cal."

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of 1967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

Normally, when a book takes me a while to read it's because I find the book uninteresting. Oddly, that wasn't the case with Middlesex. While it did take me a while (two weeks on one book is a rather long time for me) to read, I enjoyed the book.

I had seen Middlesex in both the library and in bookstores. I had even read the little blurb a few times. It took a while for me to add it to my to-read list and even longer for me to actually work up the courage to delve into it. After hearing from my mother that the book was good, I decided to move it to the front of my to-read list.

Middlesex was a long journey. Eugenides is thorough in his storytelling, but sometimes I felt like it was a bit long-winded. I was able to trudge through the parts I found less than interesting (boring would definitely not be the word I'd use) and I devoured the more interesting parts. Even with its ups and downs, Middlesex was a really good book.

Overall, I have mostly positive feelings about Middlesex. I enjoyed the book, but I don't ever see myself reading it again. This isn't a negative necessarily as I rarely read books more than once. I'm just hoping to give a little insight on how I feel about it.


5 out of 5 stars

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