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Meet Eileen: Introspective, strange, and miserable. Set in the 1960s, Eileen is author Otessa Moshfegh’s second novel, following the critically acclaimed McGlue. 

Eileen works at a prison for young boys, takes care of her alcoholic father, and doesn’t do much else. At its core, the book is a mystery-- we quickly discover (from our narrator, an older Eileen) that our main character is, in a week’s time, going to abruptly leave her hometown, which she lovingly refers to as “X-Ville,” but we have no idea why. 

Eileen is a raw, honest portrait of a young, highly insecure (but also, somewhat witty and smart) woman. The novel is Hitchcock-esque with its slow-moving psychological suspense. Nothing really even happens in the first half of the book--it’s basically just Eileen’s musings. However, I found her obsessive thoughts engrossing, though, sometimes unsettling. 

Everything about this book is dark, from the language to the setting—a bleak, colorless winter in a small New England town. But through the darkness, a strange humor ripples through. I found myself smiling at some of Eileen’s sarcastic comments, as well as oscillating between wanting to shake some sense into her and hugging her. 

Eileen is a delight. If you’re a fan of books with strong characters, or you enjoy Alfred Hitchcock or Patricia Highsmith, you’ll adore Eileen.


Recommended by Allie Charles


MattPosted August 2, 2016

Oh, yeah, I'm checking out this one. Sounds eerie.

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