Book review: Eileen

EILEEN is Ottessa Moshfegh’s second novel and after her highly acclaimed debut, McGlue, this one certainly doesn’t disappoint. 

Ottessa Moshfegh

Jonathan Cape, £16.99;

ebook, £9.99

This story is constantly surprising, occasionally hilarious, but undoubtedly dark.

The titular character, Eileen describes one week in her life, aged 24, just before Christmas, 1964. 

A tightly wound and unstable woman, her narration is somewhat unreliable but all the more thrilling to read.

She lives in a rundown house with her alcoholic father and spends her days working in a juvenile correctional facility for young boys. 

The novel describes one fateful day where Eileen leaves her town in the bitterly cold winter without warning and never returns.

This novel is an impressive character study full of subtle nuances, shrouded in mystery.

However, if you are looking for a strong storyline above all else, this probably isn’t a read for you.


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