Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You by Annie Lyons
Publication Date : September 17th 2020
Publisher : One More Chapter / HarperCollins UK
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Pages : 384
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 fellow 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?
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley as a part of readalong. Many thanks to Claire @One More Chapter. ***
Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You was heart-warming women’s fiction that revolved around 85 years old Eudora and her unlikely friendship with Rose and Stanley. It was about multigenerational relationship, importance of a good death and living life fullest till it lasts, family, friendship, and letting go of past and guilt.
Writing was excellent, emotive and medium paced. Story was written in third person narrative from Eudora’s POV in dual timeline, past and present. Past was from 1940 to 2005 telling her life story from her childhood to present life. Plot was simple and lovely.
It started with Eudora’s annoyance towards modern world, deteriorating health, and slow pace, how she wished to end her life on her own terms without suffering old age or being stuck in hospital, so she called to clinic in Switzerland for assisted death and was looking forward to their approval but then her new neighbours arrived with cheery 10 year old Rose who brought colours, adventure and friendship along with her. I was curious to find out what Eudora will decide at the end and if meeting Rose and Stanley will change her decision or not.
Characters were realistic, developed and lovable. It was easy to empathize with Eudora. Her life, situation, and feeling made me sad. At first she was grumpy, world-weary, unhappy and lonely but refused to accept it. The more I read about her past the more I felt for her. Her kindness, loyalty and love towards her family was admirable. It was heart breaking to read how people and her own family failed her, was being ungrateful and unloving even after all her sacrifices. She didn’t take a chance to happiness and love for them, it wasn’t her fault and yet she felt guilty for what happened to them. She didn’t believe in sharing emotions but once she met Rose and Stanley, her views changed.
Stanley was old man, a bit younger than Eudora and her polar opposite. He was surrounded by loving family, lived happy life, everyone loved him for his lively nature, shared his emotions easily but he felt down and sad whenever he missed his wife. When he met Rose and Eudora, he found strength in their friendship.
Rose was gem. I loved her immediately. She was ray of sunshine, full of life, funny, adorable, understanding and wise for her age. She brought back colours in Eudora and Stanley’s life with her quirky dressing and adventure. She was truly inspiring and infectious. It was sad to see such lovely child was bullied in school and girls were being mean to her. It made me think like Eudora about the world. She was amazing daughter, sister and friend. I loved how she learned all positive things and spread the positivity and love around her.
Best part of the book was past narration and multigenerational relationship. Past helped in understanding Eudora and her life better. I had question in the beginning why she was alone, what happened to her family and friends, and how it led to present life. It was like puzzle and I got the answers as each pieces of puzzle were revealed in each chapter. Rose, Stanley, and Eudora were more than friends by the end of the book. Both Rose and Eudora found something missing in their life through this relationship. I loved how Eudora came out of her uptight shell, loneliness, found peace and happiness she was looking for all her life, how Stanley found activities he loved and met new people, made new friends, and how Rose became braver, wiser, more confident, and made new friends in her school.
Topic of death was handled amazingly. I didn’t know about death doula until I read this book. Nobody wants to die alone, in hospital or suffer the old age. This story beautifully showed how important a good death is and at the same time also showed the importance of living life at fullest till it last, grabbing the life and happiness whenever it knocks the door.
Climax was tense and surprising. Even though I supported her decision, I didn’t like what Eudora was doing as it felt like she was rejecting happiness she finally found. I loved how Eudora finally opened the gate of her feeling and how Stanley helped her make the right choice. All chapters between climax to end was wonderful. End was perfectly satisfying.
Overall, Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You was moving, heart-warming and emotional women’s fiction with amazing characters and concept.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what you think about this book and my review, if you have read this already or any books by the same author. Which is your favourite book with octogenarian main character?
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