|Top to bottom: The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex, and The Marriage Plot|
*I have linked to the goodreads of each if you would like some more story details- they aren't so fresh in my mind. Here are just some of my opinions on the books*
The Virgin Suicides: An snapshot of a suburban childhood outside of Detroit. This novel is what drew me to Eugenides in the first place. The strengths here are definitely the development of the characters- the Lisbon sisters and the teenage boys that follow their downward trajectory. The sisters become awash in observation, harder and harder to pin down, and the boys are confused by their association and struggle to piece together what they see. I found that the ending was rather shocking, not unlike an ice bath, but I'm also fairly sure this was the intended dramatic effect. The pacing is kind of strange but still it is an (if not quite enjoyable or tragic) bittersweet read.
The Marriage Plot: By far his least mature and developed of the three. Simply from the writing, I would have thought that this was his first novel, but it turned out to be his most recent. Personally, I found the characters unnecessarily narcissistic and self-absorbed, thus a little bit off-putting.