- Eugenides, you crafty bastard, you made me care about all the things.
- Interestingly, I found myself super invested in all the side stories and their characters.
I had heard about this book several years ago, and sort of vaguely added it to my TBR list. Again, I found myself in the bookstore one night and came across this book in the Oprah’s Book Club section and low and behold I still needed a book for this category. No brainer, I chose Middlesex. I’m not going to lie my default novels are either YA or fantasy, and preferably both, so I was a bit intimidated by this hoping I didn’t get myself into too much trouble. And with trouble I mean selecting a book I would have a hard time finishing (especially one that was 500-plus pages).
I was very, very, very wrong. Within the first couple of paragraphs, I was hooked. Eugenides has such an easy way of telling a story. His foreboding at the beginning of a chapter to a later development is perfect to gripping a reader’s attention. I wanted to find out how anyone got to the event the author just described. I needed to read on all the time. Frankly, I am not surprised Eugenides won the Pulitzer Prize for this. I devoured this book.
The thing that blows my mind the most, that it wasn’t because the protagonist was a hermaphrodite and that was (and is) an interesting topic to me. Honestly, I don’t even know if the author portrayed hermaphroditism accurately or appropriately. It was because I found myself engulfed in the story caring so damn much about each and every character. Here, I was wishing that a brother and a sister would stay in love the way they were as young (incestuous) adults, hoping that a marriage between cousins would outlast economic changes in Detroit, looking forward to seeing Cal/Callie fall in love for the first time and discovering her/his own sexuality, dreading the time when the families would find out about Cal/Callie’s genetic condition, and mourning various characters’ deaths.
Because I loved everyone (even the ones I hated) in the novel, no tidbit of information about their lives and thoughts and hopes and fears was too boring or too irrelevant. I needed to know it all. So Eugenides detours through various side stories were welcomed and just added to my demands to know more. The 500 and some odd pages flew by like nothing. His character development is A+. And that is how a 5 spades book should be! I am anxiously awaiting the time I can read his other novels.