Saturday, October 31, 2015


MiddlesexMiddlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sum it up in a sentence (or two): The sweeping epic of one girl who grows up to be a man, starting in a tiny Turkish village and taking us through three generations of the Stephanides family as they travel to America, settle in Detroit, and make a life for themselves there.

First thoughts: Middlesex is the longest book I've read in a while, and thanks to school, took me a lot longer to finish than most books do. Still, I never wanted to abandon it. It truly is epic.

Lingering questions: Why is Chapter 11 (Cal's brother) so called? If it's in the book, I missed that part.

Changes I would make: I wanted to hear more about the present and Cal's current life, less about her ancestors.

Favorite quotes:
"I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever." -p217

"If this story is written only for myself, then so be it. But it doesn't feel that way. I feel you out there, reader." -p319

"But in the end it wasn't up to me. The big things never are. Birth, I mean, and death. And love. And what love bequeaths to us before we're born." -p388

"We're all made up of many parts, other halves. Not just me." -p440

Final thoughts: Middlesex sheds light on important issues of gender identity, nature v nurture, how we raise our kids based on gender, transitions, and the love we find in our own families. I was surprised to find that it was published in 2003, as so much of it felt contemporary.

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