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What we choose to preserve and to forget

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As a memoir that celebrates even the most nightmarish aspects of a person's life, what really stood out for me while reading The Virgin Suicides was the author's choice of point-of-view; a distinguishable first-person plural "We" voice that makes it feel as if the readers have grown up all their lives in the neighborhood where the Lisbon family resided. The effect was magnetic; I was becoming attached with every Lisbon sister--amused by their eccentricities until I was falling in love with the portraits they are immortalized with--though my perception of them is limited by the unreliable and often biased accounts of the "we" persona, and this limited POV is dangerous.

It was a bizarre reading experience: as much as I feel like I know the Lisbons, I was still an outsider-looking-in, and there is something tragically voyeuristic about it that made me pause because I find myself contemplating whether or not my own fixation through the POVs provided was more da…