It’s never too late to start living.
Infused with the emotional power of Me Before You and the irresistible charm of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Be Frank with Me, a moving and joyous novel about an elderly woman ready to embrace death and the little girl who reminds her what it means to live.
Eudora Honeysett is done with this noisy, moronic world—all of it. She has witnessed the indignities and suffering of old age and has lived a full life. At eighty-five, she isn’t going to leave things to chance. Her end will be on her terms. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland, a plan is set in motion.
Then she meets ten-year-old Rose Trewidney, a whirling, pint-sized rainbow of color and sparkling cheer. All Eudora wants is to be left alone to set her affairs in order. Instead, she finds herself embarking on a series of adventures with the irrepressible Rose and their affable neighbor, the recently widowed Stanley—afternoon tea, shopping sprees, trips to the beach, birthday celebrations, pizza parties.
While the trio of unlikely BFFs grow closer and anxiously await the arrival of Rose’s new baby sister, Eudora is reminded of her own childhood—of losing her father during World War II and the devastating impact it had on her entire family. In reflecting on her past, Eudora realizes she must come to terms with what lies ahead.
But now that her joy for life has been rekindled, how can she possibly say goodbye?
How to fall in love with a story and be determined to read all the author’s back stories….
I chose to listen to The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett and I first want to praise the narrator: Nicolette McKenzie who did a fantastic job bringing Eudora to life.
Eudora is 85 years old, has ailment from old age but no terminal illness but she is done with life, its crazy pace and its moronic inhabitants.
She has lived a long life and is now ready to be done with it on her own terms.
A clinic in Switzerland might have the solution for her if she convinces them that she is not depressed but just determined.
“I am eighty-five years old. I am old and tired and alone. I have nothing I want to do and no one I want to see. I am not depressed, merely done with life. I don’t want to end up dribbling in an old people’s home, wearing adult nappies in front of a shouting television. I want to leave this world with dignity and respect.”
As you can see, this story deals with assisted suicide. It’s something to know if it’s a trigger for you.
Eudora can best be described as particular and curmudgeon but as we get to know her through flashbacks from her childhood, we can understand why.
Her plans will get derailed with the arrival of new neighbors and ten years old Rose who is determined to befriend Eudora. Rose is energetic, a ray of sunshine with lots of glitter. Her positive attitude reminds Eudora of all the joys someone can experience in life.
From lonely cat lady with a cantankerous cat, Eudora will soon get two friends in Rose and a widowed neighbor: Stanley.
The author has an immense talent while pairing characters with opposite personalities (young boisterous Rose with curmudgeonly Eudora ; jokester Stanley with straight faced Eudora) that shouldn’t have worked and yet achieving some of the best trios I have ever read about!
Going between present and past, beginning in WWII when Eudora’s dad left for war and all the heartaches that followed in her life, we get a profound insight on Eudora’s moving personality. If self-sacrifice had a face, it would be Eudora’s. I can’t tell you how sorry I felt for her with so many missed chances at happiness.
Yet when she is in her twilight, that chance I wanted her to get materializes with Rose and Stanley.
This is a bittersweet story that felt like a warm hug, one that you need when you shed tears on Eudora’s story.
This is written with sensitivity, insight, tenderness and a lot of dry humor.
I feel privileged to have shared the life of these wonderful characters and have a great tenderness for Eudora and a deep fondness for Rose because: ” Rose may have the wearying positivity of a jack-in-the-box, but she is kindness personified.”
I fell head over heels in love with Annie Lyons prose and she has won a new fan.
Thanks for reading.