Chapter I

The book begins with a short description of the day when Mary Lisbon committed suicide using sleeping pills. Furthermore we also get hints of how the other sisters attempted suicide.

Afterwards there is a review in which it is explained how the first daughter of the Lisbon family, Cecilia, attempted suicide. She cuts her wrists open while taking a bath, but is rushed to the hospital and thus saved. When the doctor asks her why she has attempted suicide, she answers she was tired of the problems of a thirteen-year-old girl.

After that the whole Lisbon family is introduced to the reader (see Characterization of the Lisbon family) and we get to know how the first boy, Peter Sissen, is allowed to enter the Lisbon’s house. He is invited for dinner because he has been helping Mr. Lisbon to install a working model of the solar system in his classroom at school. Afterwards he wants to impress his friends by telling him about his experience.

The next boy who appears is Paul Baldino. He is the one who finds Cecilia in the bathroom with her wrists cut open after he has entered the Lisbon’s house by using underground sewage system.
The psychiatrist diagnoses her suicide attempt as an act of aggression inspired by her teenage-problems.
When she returns home, things change a lot in the Lisbon`s house. This is all overshadowed by the rumours in the neighbourhood as the people make up wild theories about why she has attempted suicide.

It is just then when Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon allow their daughters to give their first (and only) party in their life. But during this party Cecilia goes upstairs and jumps out of the window onto the spiked metal garden fence killing herself in the second try.

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