Skip to main content

Book Review: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides



"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." From this opening line of Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides brings the reader into narrator Cal's unusual and fascinating world. I knew from the start that this was a story told from the perspective of a hermaphrodite. But I didn't realize that it would be so much more.

Middlesex is an epic novel that explores so many different, yet interconnected topics. Eugenides shows us the horrors of the Greco-Turkish War in the early 20th century and the struggles facing Greeks as they immigrated to America. He explores the history of Detroit, Michigan, in the early and mid-1900s: the impact of Ford Motor Company in the area, the racial issues, the changes in the city over the years. He brings us into the heart of children of Greek immigrants who are trying to balance their Greek ancestry with being American. And, finally, he shares Cal's personal story of growing up as a girl, learning at the age of 14 that he was really a boy, and his struggles to understand and adapt to his new life.

I loved this story. The topics may be a bit too much for some readers: incest, gender issues, sexual scenes described. But all of these more sensitive topics made complete sense in the course of the story, and never made me feel uncomfortable at all. I highly recommend this book and look forward to talking about it with my book club in September.

My Rating: 5/5

Reading group guide and discussion questions for Middlesex

This review was written based on a copy of Middlesex that I borrowed from the library.

Comments

  1. Really liked this book too! My favorite character for some reason was Desdemona.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree. She was a great character!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i picked up a second hand copy of this awhile ago but its been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get around to reading it - i've only heard good things about it so i really should read it soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really enjoyed this book, as well. It's not often that you see bestselling novel with an intersexed main character! It's an interesting look at a people most of us know very little about. Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really do need to find time to read this one - thanks for the review!

    Sue

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: No Story to Tell by KJ Steele

Victoria has been put down since the day she was born. First by her parents who were disappointed that she survived while her twin brother died. Then by her verbally abusive husband and his low-life friends. But soon an intriguing artist named Elliott arrives in town and starts encouraging Victoria to follow her dream of opening her own dance studio. She also begins to receive phone calls from a mysterious someone who gets her to open up about her past and face her true feelings.

In No Story to Tell, KJ Steele has captured the small-town atmosphere and brought these characters to life. From the victimized Victoria, to her drunk and obnoxious husband Bobby and his drunk and obnoxious friends, to all the side characters who you'd expect to encounter in a town like this ~ all are so realistic in both their actions and their voices. She has written a compelling story of an abused woman who thinks she is trapped in this loveless, miserable existence. But then she finds a spark of hope…

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)


Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to ge…