It's been a long time since I've been able to read an entire book, but having a long plane ride across the Atlantic helps. When I first checked out Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides a list had just come out, The Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far), that included this book (and many others in our Popular Reading Collection).
I was excited to dive into this hefty book and I was indeed carried away by this Greek Epic. I thought of the stories and trials of my own ancestors who passed through Ellis Island hoping for a better life in America. I was blessed to be born into middle class America in the late 1960s. The narrator Cal was blessed and cursed by his/her bloodlines. Growing up in the same era I recognized the aftermath of race riots that convinced our parents to flee to the suburbs, yet I was also easily transported to Asia Minor and Prohibition era Detroit through Eugenides' skillfull writing. His candid and unemotional treatment of hermaphroditism bordered on clinical but also made the story seem true. I half-wanted to use the library resources to see if Cal's case is indeed documented in medical accounts. The human story of Cal's family is what truly engaged me though and made the book an engrossing read.