The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop, an unassuming yet disturbed young woman, trapped between her role as her alcoholic father's carer and her day job as a secretary at the prison.
When the charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted and unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship.
In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.
©2015 Ottessa Moshfegh (P)2015 Recorded Books Inc
"Fully lives up to the hype. A taut psychological thriller, rippled with comedy as black as a raven's wing, Eileen is effortlessly stylish and compelling." (The Times)
"Excellent...a taut, well-written, and completely engrossing novel...culminating in a dynamite ending." (Boston Globe)
A wonderful and compelling read, which starts mundanely enough with the gruesome detail of a desperate life and slowly creeps into a dark thriller. The twists and turns are at once subtle and shocking and hard to read, and the sordid day today grit of the life laid bare is all encompassing. The tension slowly tightens and becomes suffocating, and most striking of all is the bravery of having such an honest portrayal of a young woman with none of the graces and all the reality. This is stunning writing and I hope it wins the Booker!
When I heard this book reviewed on Radio 4 in the UK I thought it would be challenging: the dark monologue of a depressive. When I read the blurb in a book shop I thought it would be a bit trite. Neither is true. I would read more by Ottessa Moshfegh. This book describe's Eileen's thoughts, opinions, feelings, self-image, predicament, in detail, honestly. I cared about her. The events of the book are surprising in a good way. One other thing: Ottessa uses clever narration to set up suspense, then defuse the questions you don't need and leave you with the uncertainties you do need. It's good story telling.
Really enjoyed this but be warned it is bleak to say the least. Mostly this novel consists of a detailed description of damaged humans and the damage they do. Sounds grim and it is but it's a compelling and absorbing listen.
Kildonan by the sea
Here is a character that hates the world, but most of all she hates herself, every detail, every function of her body to revulsion, she is nausea walking in the form of a woman, jet she wants to be loved, she wants to love, but does not know how to achieve this mysterious ideal. There is a man she wants but it is a woman that entices her into a new definition of herself, a commitment to be not Eileen.
A bleak disturbing life, related with extreme realism, with visceral detail, a mortal coil that springs out of the pages to denounce the past, to recount her odious odyssey into a metamorphosis.
Seldom will you read a book that describes a female character so raw so exposed to the darkness of her mind. The neglect of her family has multiplied on her being rejecting her very physicality and jet we now from the start that she will survive. Live a life that is not Eileen, she reiterates this as she recounts a past, a crime.
Boring out pouring of a feeble minded narsastic youth with obsessive self image disorder. Listened for four hours and could stand it no more. Tried again a week later for two hours and still no promised story development but aimless mental meanderings about this or that person. I am returning this book as I feel offended by it.
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