Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

About the book

I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver’s license…records my first name simply as Cal.” So begins 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 l967, before they move 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.

Reviewed by Romsey LGBT:

The book received high marks from most members. People liked the wide sweep of the novel and the vivid descriptions. Good discussion about intersex issues. Some felt the book should have been edited more. We cared about the characters.

Star rating: ***

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6 thoughts on “Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides”

  1. Review by Tuesday Crew Reading Group:
    Well written with rich character portrayal and a well developed story. Substantial historical content and a sense of underlying tragedy throughout.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by Tuesday Crew Reading Group:
    Well written with rich character portrayal and a well developed story. Substantial historical content and a sense of underlying tragedy throughout.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by New /Waterside U3A Reading Group:
    A thoroughly satisfying book at all levels, leaving the reader with the feeling that Eugenides had much more to tell than he used for the telling. For generations used to heavily biased reports on recent Greco/Turkish relations, it was good to be reminded of the deep causes of mistrust and hatred which divide the Eastern Mediterranean states. The wry humorous descriptions of the Greek-American families and the delicate handling of Calliope’s odd genetic history merit the term ‘sumptuously enjoyable’ A book with plenty of material for discussion.
    Star rating: ****

  4. Review by In Sync Reading Group
    Only half the members read it all. The parts about the Greek invasion of Turkey and how the motor industry in Detroit has declined were interesting but there was too much detail about intersex and other body parts.
    Rating: none given

  5. Review by Winchfield
    A great read. Great story, original. We all learned something new. Beautifully written…a classic and challenging too!
    Star rating: ****

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