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Very dark yet compelling book. I was glued to its from beginning to its end!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I am incredibly torn on how to rate and review this book. It is an odd story, at once engrossing and rambling and uncomfortable and listless and troubling. It is not a mystery or a coming of age story, though at times there are tinges of these well-worn genres (though grossly distorted). It is not a love story or a thriller, though again, elements suggest a twisted version of each. I kept waiting for something major to happen, for characters to be more fully explained, for gaps to be filled in, and they weren't. What I ended up getting was a compulsive portrait of a young woman, ill at ease in her body and in the world. The narrator relays events of her life, concentrating on her 24th year, when we are obliquely told something momentous happened. The event is slowly approached, as the now elderly narrator sketches her background and thoughts, idiosyncrasies and naivete, dark motives and aching needs. In various asides we know she had to flee home, that she reinvented herself, that she made her way in the world. As she recollects her past, we know that she fantasized about leaving home, killing her father, making something of her life. In the end, the event we have been building towards feels anticlimactic and her relationship with another character (the enigmatic Rebecca) is left feeling half-formed. Though this is something that normally aggravates me in books, it doesn't ruin the experience. While the anticlimax of the central event came and went a bit too quickly, the nascent relationship between the titular Eileen and Rebecca feels appropriately half-formed, almost highlighting the impressionable and unstable mental state Eileen operated under. While I am unsure of how to categorize this book and likewise wary of recommending it, I can say it kept me rapt and ill at ease and that it was unlike anything else I've read.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful