Review: Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

eileenTitle: Eileen

Author: Ottessa Moshfegh

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Press

The Blurb

The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop. Trapped between caring for her alcoholic father and her job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, she tempers her dreary days with dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, her nights and weekends are filled with shoplifting and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes.

When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted, unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. But soon, Eileen’s affection for Rebecca will pull her into a crime that far surpasses even her own wild imagination.

The Review

It has taken me a while to write this review. Not in minutes and seconds but in weeks. I read Eileen by Ottessa Mohfegh a few weeks ago and I wanted to wait to see if I felt any better about it rather than diving right into a review that might seem harsh or unfair.

Well, it has been three weeks and I still don’t feel any better about it. I think my over-riding thought is that I can’t see the point of Eileen. It just did nothing to fulfil me. I admit that Moshfegh rather interestingly created a world of such ennui that the drama within the book should come across as more powerful but it just didn’t. It was all a bit meh.

Moshfegh did create an interesting third act twist but having read two thirds of the book I was already too lost to really care about the characters or this new found drama.

Eileen definitely did not win me over.

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh is available now.

For more information regarding Penguin Press (@PenguinBooksUK) please visit


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