Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Eileen is a delightful read. One of those tight novels that explores the self-pity of late adolescence and early adulthood. The narrator is an older woman looking back on the girl of her youth. ‘There’s no better way to say it: I was not myself back then. I was someone else. I was Eileen.’ (p2)

Eileen is in her early 20s. She gave up college to come home and look after her dying mother. Once her mother was gone she stayed home to keep her drunk ex-cop father in check. It’s a responsibility she bears with exhaustion and invention. To stop him behaving recklessly she locks his shoes in the boot of her car. It keeps him inside for most of the winter at least. Continue reading