by Jeffrey Eugenides
This book literally took be about 2 months to read! That is a REALLY, REALLY long time for me. I can usually finish a good book in about a week. This is not to say that this book was not good, but it was just really slow. I had to trudge through the first 175 pages before I really wanted to pick it up and read. You know those books that instead of reading you choose to put away laundry, take out the trash, take a nap....yeah, well the beginning of this book was very much like that for me. The story line was actually quite interesting from start to finish, which had me a bit baffled. I was having a hard time putting my finger on the exact reason why I couldn't get into this book. The writing was good and the storyline was extremely intriguing. Then I figured it out... I don't really enjoy this author. His writing doesn't speak to me on an emotional level. His writing is held very high in the world of books, but for some reason, his writing just can't captivate my heart. That being said I did enjoy this book. I just don't like being 'stuck' on a book for this long.
This book reads like a non-fiction book. The writer is that good. What you read feels more like a memoir. It feels like this story is the real deal. This book covers a topic that I feel like America has made more a taboo that anything. It is not something most people know about and because of that , it is certainly judged upon harshly. This book is about a girl named Calliope. She is hermaphrodite. As her teenage years approach, she has suspicions that she is different. She has a very boyish body, is in love with her high school best friend and never gets her period. After she is injured in accident, doctors confirm that she is indeed very different. She is sent to a genetic specialist and we are taken on the journey as Calliope becomes Cal. Callie is genetically a boy but has been raised a girl her whole life. Regardless of how she chooses to live going forward, her struggles have just begun.
In the end, we are left with a feeling of hope and acceptance from Cal.
The slow, but interesting part of this story is the beginning. It starts from the story of Callie's ancestors. Without this, the reader would not be able to fully understand how Callie's condition has come to be. In fact, as the reader, we know what is going on much before Callie is able to understand it herself.
This book has gotten HUGE reviews. It is rated 4.5 stars on Amazon. Though I couldn't fully connect with the book, I am certain most readers can and will.