For years, I have avoided Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex. The concept felt too much like a ploy to me. It didn't matter that it won the Pulitzer, or that it had such rave reviews, or that it was on Oprah's Book List (admittedly, I tend to love "her" books). I couldn't succumb to its pull.At the insistence of my MFA mentor, I finally did. Wow, what a surprise. A fabulous read and not at all what I expected. There were times when my love for the novel wavered (e.g. the sudden disappearance of Desmonda who was such an integral part of the story), but Eugenides successfully pulled these loose threads together one by one to make a wonderful piece of fiction.