Published by: One More Chapter
Date released: 17/09/2020
Date read: 07/02/2021
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 colour 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 neighbour, 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 realises 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?
I was a bit apprehensive about this book before I started, thinking it might have been too similar to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. But apart from the title being similar, these books are their own masterpieces.
The book follows 85-year-old Eudora Honeysett who is planning on ending her life in Switzerland, until she meets 10-year-old Rose, who forces her to take another look at her life.
For such a potentially depressing premise, this book is anything but. Even in the sadder moments, Annie Lyons manages to make it uplifting. It doesn’t shy away from talking about death, but equally it doesn’t force it down your throat as a terrifying thing. The whole book is trying to tell the reader that death is not something to be afraid of, and if managed in the right way, can be just as valuable as life. It also brings up the age-old debate about whether assisted suicide should be legalised. Should we have control over our own deaths? If we’ve enjoyed our lives and now want to enjoy our death, why shouldn’t we? It’s a question that will sit with you long after you’ve closed the back cover.
It is such a heartwarming book, it’s like a warm hug. Every word written is a hug or a kiss on the forehead or a hand on your arm or a kind word.
I’d love to meet Eudora Honeysett, and even more so, Rose. We all have down periods where we question our life, but I think if we all reset our minds back to being 10…well, I think we’ll be okay.