Middlesex tells the complicated story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family as they travel from eastern Greece to 1920s Detroit, endure the race riots of 1967, move out to leafy Grosse Pointe, and take a single genetic mutation with them. Calliope's first words in the novel are, "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." A hermaphrodite raised as a girl, Calliope changes her name to Cal when she is 14 and decides to live as a male.
But the story is about so much more than Callie/Cal's experience as an intersex person. Eugenides weaves a breathtakingly beautiful portrayal of a lovable but deeply flawed family and their journey through the generations. It's a story about love, war, immigration, assimilation, and coming-of-age.
The book is long at over 500 pages, but it doesn't feel like it. The story never failed to keep me entertained. I was also really impressed by Jeffrey Eugenides' voice. I guess this is why he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for this book in 2003.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I give it an A.