This beautiful and sad first novel, recently adapted for a major motion picture, tells of a band of teenage sleuths who piece together the story of a twenty-year old family tragedy begun by the youngest daughter’s spectacular demise by self-defenstration, which inaugurates “the year of the suicides.”
Well, I am finished. I mean look my knowledge of contemporary American literature is very sporadic. No matter how hard I try to do what I call "filling cultural gaps", I know I will not be well read in it - so many books to read and I know I will miss many that American readers know well because well, they grew up with it, studied it, or just heard about it way before I did. I just pick up lit fics randomly - on friends' recommendations, or whatever interests me from bestseller lists. Friend loved this one. I have to say that it is IMO exceptionally well written. Now even though when I pick up the lit fiction I do not expect happy endings and stuff, the older I get the less I want to read the stuff which is completely depressing without any ray of hope. Considering the topic I asked my friend before taking the paperback from her whether it was completely depressing or not. She said no way, she said it is sometimes even darkly funny and cannot put down read. Well, it definitely had funny moments (dark, definitely dark, but funny) - boys who had interactions with the sisters who all committed suicide are trying to figure out why they did it and in the narrative they recreating the events and portray the family or as much as they knew of it.
It is very picturesque I guess. The life in the neighborhood is very easy to imagine, I have read that it is going to be movie? Or is it a movie already? No idea.
I do agree that the ones who are growing up in front of us are boys, which is kind of weird, but made sense I guess. Gah, I think I feel out of my depth talking about this story - there are so many references to other books - prose, poetry, some religious references too - but I am sure I missed more than I caught.
Bottom line - once I started, I could not put it down, the writing was that engaging, but dark humor or not, the topic still left me a bit depressed. Tons of respect, but not a reread - but literary skill wise it is definitely a five.