Middlesex [Book Review]

This story of one Greek-American family’s trials, love affairs, and tragedies is well told in the mesmerizing voice of the narrator, Cal, who I felt an affinity with almost immediately.

cover of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Book Description

Middlesex tells 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 moving 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.

My Rating

reading

This story was an astonishing, gripping piece of literature that I found difficult to put down.

The storyline of this book is fluid, often going back generations, forward, then skipping a part here or there only to circle back around to it later. I don’t normally like this kind of time warp, but for the story of Calliope Stephanides and the twisted confusion of her family tree, it works.

Some of the characters, like Cal/Callie, I liked immediately. Others I loved to hate almost as much. There were a few lulls in the book, but the overall mystery, whose answer was alluded to and danced around for chapters at a time, kept me going. I’m glad I was able to read and finish this book. It’s a story that will stick with me for a long time.

I give it five of five stars, and hands-down, it was the best book I read in 2015. It’s a must-read for anyone with an open mind and a taste for the extraordinary.

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