REVIEW: Eileen: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh

Depressing circumstances are the backdrop for noir suspense
Be ready to enter the dark, dark world of a disturbing protagonist. Her snowy New England hometown, her secretarial work in a boys’ prison, and her upbringing in the disgusting squalor of her parents’ house that makes foster care look like a welcoming escape — all add up to a bleak scenario. The writing is so powerful and beautiful — the scene setting, the development of the characters, the voice of the Eileen — but at times I wasn’t sure I could continue reading and inhabiting her awful world. How could the stars so completely line up against this central character? I hung in because of the amazing writing — and as the story progresses you grow to understand why Eileen ended up so “bent,” and the reader can find sympathy for this character.
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