Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thirteen of the most dysfunctional parents in literature

Julia Fierro's new novel is Cutting Teeth.

One entry on the author's list of the most dysfunctional parents in literature, as shared at the Huffington Post:
Mr. & Mrs. Lisbon in The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, 1993

My heart goes out to Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon, parents of the five beautiful Lisbon girls--13-year-old Cecilia, 14-year-old Lux, 15-year-old Bonnie, 16-year-old Mary, and 17-year-old Therese. The Lisbon family dysfunction reads like a tragic fairy tale. I can imagine that, as daughter after daughter slipped through Mom and Dad Lisbon's prayer-clenched fingers, the parents in Eugenides' novel felt certain they were cursed, forsaken by the God they worshipped so obediently and whose image was found throughout the Lisbon house in the form of rosaries and crucifixes and holy water. Poor Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon, whose fatal mistake--imprisoning their ethereal daughters in what they thought was the safety of their home--while borne by good intentions, may have been the very thing that smothered the girls and led them to destruction. The Virgin Suicides offers its readers a melancholy dysfunction, the mood of which lingers long after the last page is read.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Virgin Suicides is among Rosa Rankin-Gee's ten top novellas about love, Kate Finnigan's top ten fictional fashion icons, Patrick Ness's top ten "unsuitable" books for teenagers, Cathy Cassidy's top ten stories about sisters.

--Marshal Zeringue