Wednesday, February 10, 2021

2021 - Book #20 - The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett; Annie Lyons


TITLE/AUTHORThe  Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett; Annie Lyons

PUBLISHER:  Harper Audio (narrator: Nicolette McKenzie - very good)

YEAR PUBLISHED:  2020

GENRE: Fiction 

FORMAT:  audio PP/LENGTH: 10 hours 39 min.

SOURCE:  audio download purchase

SETTING(s):  London


ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A sweet story about an elderly woman who feels her life is over and, a few caring individuals who show her maybe it's not.


BRIEF REVIEW:  Eudora (Dora) Honeysett is an 85 year old single woman with no friends or family.  Her entire life she has sacrificed her own happiness by putting the needs of others first.  The oldest child, she was only around 10 when her father went off to fight in WWII, never to return.  Her younger sister Stella was born shortly after and mother Beatrice was never able to cope with raising another child.  Eudora, still a child herself,  stepped in to be her sister's protector from their mother's anger.  More sacrifices and disappointments soon followed for Dora whenever it seemed there was a slight glimmer of happiness for her as an adult.

Now an old woman Eudora decides she wants to end her life on her terms before she is unable to care for herself. She contacts a clinic in Switzerland to make arrangements. It is around the same time that Rose and her family move in next door. Rose is a sweet, smart 10 year old who realizes that she enjoys spending her free time with Rose instead of children her age.  She is quick to teach Eudora what living is all about. Then there is another neighbor Stanley, a recent widower who is lonely as well who enters the picture.

Even though it was easy to see where this story was headed, I really enjoyed the ride.  The characters in this story are memorable - Eudora, grouchy, set in her ways and strong willed.  I found her life story sad at times and felt badly that she gave up her earlier chances for happiness for others. Rose is insightful and wise beyond her years and brought so much life, fun and humor to the story, as did  Stanley, a lonely man who needed a friend.  The story in many ways reminded me of A Man Called Ove but, most of all it acted as a reminder to readers that showing a little attention and concern to a lonely person can make all the difference in the world.  I think this would make a good book club choice as well.

RATING: 4/5 stars

MEMORABLE QUOTES:    “Life is precious and as long as we have a reason to continue, we should follow that path.” 

29 comments:

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    1. It was a sweet story, I loved Rose and of course, Montgomery the cat:)

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  2. I think I have this one. It falls into the same category as Miss Benson's Beetle and those kinds of books. I enjoy them.

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    1. It is nice to read a sweet story as long as not too sappy.I like reading about senior protagonists the older I get.

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  3. This sounds very good. I'm adding it to my list to read.

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  4. This one really sounds good to me. I spent so much time visiting my father in his elder-living facility that I learned pretty quickly that anything out of the ordinary for the residents was like gold. Just stopping to chat with them on the way to my dad's apartment seemed to perk some of them up. I suppose it was a little look at the outside world that did it.

    I see you did this one via audiobook. Do you think you would have enjoyed it as much on the written page. I know that sometimes the right narrator can make all the difference in the world to my reaction to a book. Just curious.

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    1. Sam, the print version would be just as good I'm sure. Sometimes I have a little trouble with a British narrator but, it worked this time.

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  5. That does sound like a sweet one.

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    1. Very nice story - you just know it will have a happy ending too.

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  6. This sounds like a good read! Adding this to my wishlist.

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  7. As I read your review, I too thought of A Man Called Ove.

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  8. I love this idea that a new neighbor helps the main character see value in her life. Though it sounds sad, it probably also has hope.

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    1. I love a good story with a happy ending - especially this past year.

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  9. This sounds like a sweet, uplifting read. I'm definitely going to check it out.

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  10. I may have to give this one a try. Like you, I'm enjoying books with older protagonists. I'm reading Young Jane Young and I thought one of the main characters was older, but it turns out she's only 64. Not that much older than I am! :)

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    1. LOL - just 64:) My husband and I comment all the about people we see on tv. I am always googling ages of actors, actresses and politicians these days. I'll say, "oh wow, she's my age, but she's had plenty of plastic surgery." LOL

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  11. I concur it sounds sweet ... and we definitely need these stories at times!

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    1. Susan, so true - I need a nice story more frequently this past year.

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  12. My mother recently read and enjoyed this one, too.

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    1. Oh nice, it is great finding a real nice story that you know will end happy these days.

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  13. My friend recommended this book to me, it sounds lovely.

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  14. I'm so glad to hear you liked this one. I like the premise and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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