Calliope Stephanides should be your typical American girl growing up in 1960s. Her father, a successful business owner, and son of Greek immigrants, is determined that his children will have nothing but a picture perfect upbringing. When the race riots destroy his diner, he moves the family to the suburb of Gross Pointe. It is here that Callie makes discoveries about herself and her family's past that will irrevocably change her life.
I have come to appreciate Eugendies ability to take a typical coming of age story and turn it on it's head. Nothing about this book is what you expect, from where it starts in Turkey, all the way to the book's climax, Eugendies surprises you, yet at the same time, the ending is inevitable. Each of the words is carefully chosen, and in some places the book reads like poetry. I really came to care for both Cal/Callie and Desdemona. The other characters I felt weren't quite as vivid and human, but that didn't detract from the story. It was clear that there roles were minor, necessary only so that this story could be told.
There was a secondary story, a love story, taking place in the present that I felt was unnecessary. It was minor, and the interruptions brief, however each time it pulled me out the narrative entirely and detracted from the overall flow. However, this is only a minor quibble and I still found the book entirely enjoyable and thought-provoking, though I don't know that it is a book everyone would enjoy. In fact there are very few people in my life to whom I could see myself recommending this book.