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The Virgin Suicides Paperback – June 1, 1994
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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For example, the film version never quite had the same sense of heavy despair from the Lisbon girls and gradual degradation of the house and the girls' health that is apparent in the book. I found the plural point of view to be interesting; drawing me in to join in their observations of the girls, and to try to answer the questions they presented.
While the novel allows for more insight into the Lisbons, it is effective in that you never truly get to know them; only the boys' interpretation of them. Like the boys who are narrating, they remain at a distance, which enhances the mystery of the girls' true thoughts and experiences inside that house. Did they know that Cecilia would attempt suicide? If the boys would have acted on their concerns rather than simply observe, would that have helped the girls? Would they still have killed themselves if Lux had not come home after curfew, causing Mrs Lisbon to isolate them inside the house?
While I may have my own thoughts on the reasons for their suicides, many others will have different views, or not understand why they even did it at all. I liked that the novel didn't give any clear-cut answers as to why - as with the boys who are narrating the story, most readers will be left with more questions than answers.