The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett
By Annie Lyons
(372 pages, fiction, 2020)
Eudora Honeysett is an elderly woman who lives in London. She doesn’t have anything to live for. She has no friends or family, and a cat who bites her. She doesn’t want to have her last moments be in an ambulance, racing to a hospital. She wants to die on her own terms, and so she contacts a clinic in Switzerland. She wants to go there to die. The people at the clinic are wonderful and compassionate, and tell her to call them at any time, just to talk. They want to make sure that this is the right decision for Eudora. Then a small family moves in next door and ten-year-old Rose Trewidney decides that she and Eudora will be best friends. Rose creates a whirlwind of sparkles, rainbows, wears mis-matched neon-colored clothes, and is lots of fun. They befriend the recently widowed Stanley. Soon Eudora is going on a shopping expedition with Rose as her personal shopper. Eudora has been invited to Stanley’s son’s 50th birthday party and she needs something to wear. People take notice of Eudora now that she has the effervescent Rose with her. Rose expands Eudora’s world. Eudora teaches Rose how to swim, and helps Rose when she is being bullied at her new school. Eudora remembers her own very different childhood, losing her father in World War II; and trying to keep the peace between her anxious mother and wild younger sister. Eudora and Rose become great friends, and Eudora is the one that Rose runs to when there is an emergency with Rose’s mother. Eudora is needed and loved, and sees that there is a lot of joy in the world, a lot to live for.
This warm-hearted book has a lot of humor in it. I really enjoyed reading about Eudora’s journey. She was depressed and alone, but eventually she starts seeing life from Rose’s sparkling point of view.
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