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.
British humor is so darn good at bringing to light the absurdities of everyday life without being oppressive or depressing. Annie Lyons’ new novel, The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett, is no exception ... These flashbacks give the reader something deeper to mull over concerning their own wins and losses, and how our perceptions change during different stages of life ... Even with death and loneliness at its core, The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett is filled with personable characters, witty dialogue and relatable moments. It’s a vibrant and humorous celebration of being alive and learning to say goodbye.
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.
Lyons’ characters are unique and wonderful, portrayed with a depth that allows readers to understand their motivations and empathize with them. Her childhood promise directed most of Eudora’s choices in life except for one that haunts her. Quirky, insightful Rose is bullied and thus gravitates to her kindly older friends. Stanley recently lost his wife and struggles to regain his footing. And yet the trio's unlikely camaraderie has the power to rejuvenate them all, showing that good friendship makes life worth living ... A sensitive examination of human connections that can both damage and heal.