Duckling – Eve Ainsworth

Published By: Penguin
Pages: 381
Released On: 26/05/2022

Lucy’s life is small, but safe. She’s got a good routine. But all that’s about to change.

When Lucy’s neighbour asks her to look after her little girl for a couple of hours – and then doesn’t come back – Lucy is suddenly responsible for someone other than herself.

It takes courage to let the outside world in, and Lucy’s about to learn there’s much more to life – but only if she’s brave enough to spread her wings.


Thanks to Penguin for the advanced proof of this book in return for an honest review.

I had such high hopes for this book; it was getting rave reviews left, right and centre and I had no doubt it would live up to it. But sadly for me, it didn’t.

I wasn’t a fan of the main character Lucy for most of the book. She didn’t gel with me and I didn’t find her to be pleasant a character, even her quirky traits grated on me slightly. Sadly I didn’t find many of the characters particular standout, except for perhaps Rubi, the 7 year old.

I was waiting for it to turn into the “uplifting…joyous…feel-good” read I kept seeing in reviews, and it just didn’t hit that for me. I admit at times I was struggling to get through it.

There’s a lot to digest in this book: physical and mental illness, alcoholism, abandonment, death, grief, violence, poverty…I just felt it was a bit much. It was also a bit of an odd genre, it wasn’t quite happily-ever-after, not quite romance or comedy, nor thriller or mystery. It’s got a bit of everything and whilst that’s normally a positive thing, I found it confusing and a bit all over the place.

I saw it getting no less than 4 stars across the board, so it’s clearly a well-loved story but it just didn’t fit the bill for me. It wasn’t terrible, if it was I wouldn’t have finished it, but for me it was just a bit…meh. I admit it did get better as it went on but it sadly wasn’t a winner in my eyes.

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