The brilliant life of Eudora Honeysett A novel

Annie Lyons

Book - 2020

Wanting to organize an assisted death on her own terms, world-weary octogenarian Eudora Honeysett forges an unexpected bond with exuberant ten-year-old Rose, who drags her to tea parties, shopping sprees, and other social excursions.

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FICTION/Lyons Annie
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor FICTION/Lyons Annie Due Sep 6, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Domestic fiction
Published
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2020]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
372 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780063026063
0063026066
Main Author
Annie Lyons (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

At 85, Eudora Honeysett has had a good life, not a great one, but one she's ready to give up on, thanks to all the heartbreak and betrayal she's endured from family, friends, and lovers. She's not depressed, she's just done and determined to face death on her own terms. As Eudora focuses on her decision to enroll at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, the Trewidney family moves in next door, and try as she might, Eudora finds it nearly impossible to ignore the spunk and sass of seven-year-old Rose, who, unaware of Eudora's plans, gamely insinuates herself into Eudora's daily routine. Although it seems that Eudora never makes it to Switzerland, British author Lyons builds a certain and compassionate case for why her protagonist wants to go through vibrant flashbacks that reveal the depth of Eudora's character and sources of despair. Teeming with curmudgeonly elders and precocious youngsters, Lyons' touching tale of intergenerational friendship is reminiscent of Frederik Backman's A Man Called Ove (2014). Despite the somber underlying subject, this is a thoroughly enchanting feel-good read. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Eudora Honeysett, a British woman in her twilight years, resolves to die on her own terms in the witty, endearing latest from Lyons (The Happiness List). After a fall on the pavement sends Eudora to the hospital, an encounter with another older woman in the waiting room ("?‘Not long now for you and me,' she wheezed,") plants a seed in her mind, and she realizes she's through with the pains, weakness, and fatigue of old age. She applies for a voluntary death provided by a medical clinic in Switzerland and marks her "Freedom" on the calendar, counting down the days until her appointment. Lyons unfurls Eudora's life story, including her grief over losing her father in WWII, alongside a surprising new friendship for Eudora with Rose Trewidney, a 10-year-old spitfire who's moved in next door and thrust herself into the daily routine of Eudora and her widower neighbor Stanley Marcham. As Eudora's hardened exterior softens with this newfound kinship, she is still adamant about getting on with her plans ("If I can have the choice of how I live my own life, why can't I choose how to die my own death?"). Lyons strikes a winning balance, reaching deep feelings while avoiding the traps of sentimentality. Agent: Laura Macdougall, United Agents LLP. (Sept.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Wanting to organize an assisted death on her own terms, world-weary octogenarian Eudora Honeysett forges an unexpected bond with exuberant ten-year-old Rose, who drags her to tea parties, shopping sprees, and other social excursions.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Wanting to organize an assisted death on her own terms, a world-weary octogenarian forges an unexpected bond with an exuberant 10-year-old who drags her to tea parties, shopping sprees and other social excursions. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

USA TODAY BESTSELLER!"One adorably British odd couple . . . Charming." ' People'An exquisitely poignant tale of life, friendship and facing death . . . heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting . . Everyone should read this book.' ' Ruth Hogan, author of Queenie Malone's Paradise HotelInfused 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.It's never too late to start living.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 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 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? 

Review by Publisher Summary 4

USA TODAY BESTSELLER!"One adorably British odd couple . . . Charming." — People“An exquisitely poignant tale of life, friendship and facing death . . . heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting . . Everyone should read this book.” — Ruth Hogan, author of Queenie Malone’s Paradise HotelInfused 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.It's never too late to start living.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 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 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?