The Virgin Suicides
Reading Eugenides is like being trapped in someone's nightmare. Someone's nightmare that is so aesthetically pleasing you don't want to leave. And he definitely knows the formula to keep you locked in.
Centering around the tragic mystery of the suicides of five sisters, one would expect that Euginedes gives us resolutions and answers, but none fit, making it all the more tragic. Expecting the usual macabre plot devices, you continue turning the pages, rushing through the onslaught of hormonal luminescence that engulfs the entire narrative. Were teenage girls ever so obsessively idolized while their physical flaws so excessively studied? Do men really lack the capacity to understand the harsh realities of "trapped beaver" (my favorite phrase in the book)? Is self-destruction always contagious? At what point is escape impossible? Eugenides makes the Lisbon story resemble an nostalgic ghost tale, stringing us along with its horrible beauty and scaring us silly while we want to listen to more.
Haunting. And, like its characters, finishing too soon.