What can we tell you about the main character in Ottessa Moshfegh’s darkly comic new novel, Eileen? Well, she's certainly not the most likable lady you'll ever meet. But once you get past her warped sense of right and wrong, you definitely won’t be able to look away.
The book opens with 74-year-old Eileen--though she no longer goes by that name--looking back at the week leading up to the day she "disappeared" back in 1964. And what a week it was.
Shuttling back and forth between the rundown home she shares with her father in the anonymous New England town of X-ville and the uber-dark boys' prison where she works, Eileen slowly reveals the bleak details of her youth. But things are about to change with the arrival of the beautiful and glamorous Rebecca Saint John, a new counselor at the prison who just might be able to change Eileen’s life. We don't want to say too too much here, because this twisty, Hitchcockian tale is best approached unspoiled--but suffice it to say, things don’t go as planned.
Relentlessly dark, acerbically witty and meticulously plotted, Eileen is a knockout that will keep you up at night and haunt you in the days that follow.