06 July 2015

Eileen; Otessa Moshfegh

Eileen: A NovelEileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A first person narration with an unlikeable narrator? That's a rather bold step for a debut. And sometimes it works here, but mostly it doesn't. The problem is that Eileen is so unlikeable, and the real action takes place at the very end of the book, leaving the first seven eights or so for readers to wonder why to continue. There's lots of detail, giving us plenty of reason to not like Eileen (her wearing of her mother's clothes, her alcoholism and personal habits, etc.) and only a few reasons why we should (her alcoholic father, her horrible-sounding job). The ending didn't seem quite true, either, with Eileen seeming to have no interest in finding out exactly what happened after she left, despite this meandering account of What Came Before. Perhaps giving us something at the end to redeem her, some idea that she changed since the events in the book?

ARC provided by publisher.

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