Yes, you see that right. 5 STARS!!!
Rarely does a book move me this much. You want to know something interesting? I didn’t even think I would like it. I opened the book, sighed heavily, and plunged through the first 80 or so pages before I even realized I had gotten that far into it.
It’s a fairly hefty book (depending on how much you like to read), ending at 544 pages. And I wanted 544 more. At least.
I could not get enough. It was almost a multi-generational journey, told from the point of view as a hermaphrodite named Cal.
His journey begins before he’s even born, from his incestuous grandparents paving the way for him to be born with the hermaphrodite gene.
It’s so unpretentious, so matter-of-fact, so…perfect. 🙂
Cal doesn’t take himself too seriously, despite what he’s been through, which is a lot more than what most of us have to face. We know who we are and never have to question it. But people like Cal, or transgendered people face a reality that we can’t possibly understand completely unless we go through it.
The author, Jeffrey Eugenides, tackles this rarely discussed subject with respect and grace, I must say. It’s so refereshing to read words written by a man that are so compassionate and realistic, so compelling, especially from the pov of a hermaphrodite from childhood to adulthood. I’m sure that must’ve been quite a challenge. How do you research it? How do you get in the minds of someone going through that, and take into consideration the difference of personality, gender confusion, or even time period? It’s genius, to say the least.
The only thing I wished for was something different for Cal’s father. But I fully accept that life isn’t perfect and we should face this head-on, even in novels.
Oh yeah, and it was heartwarming and lovely to read about Cal’s first love, and his love life and desire to be loved in return, especially as an adult. How beautiful!
Please give this book a chance if you have the time to read it. It’s definitely worth a go.