cover image The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett

The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett

Annie Lyons. Morrow, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-302606-3

Eudora Honeysett, a British woman in her twilight years, resolves to die on her own terms in the witty, endearing latest from Lyons (The Happiness List). After a fall on the pavement sends Eudora to the hospital, an encounter with another older woman in the waiting room (“ ‘Not long now for you and me,’ she wheezed,”) plants a seed in her mind, and she realizes she’s through with the pains, weakness, and fatigue of old age. She applies for a voluntary death provided by a medical clinic in Switzerland and marks her “Freedom” on the calendar, counting down the days until her appointment. Lyons unfurls Eudora’s life story, including her grief over losing her father in WWII, alongside a surprising new friendship for Eudora with Rose Trewidney, a 10-year-old spitfire who’s moved in next door and thrust herself into the daily routine of Eudora and her widower neighbor Stanley Marcham. As Eudora’s hardened exterior softens with this newfound kinship, she is still adamant about getting on with her plans (“If I can have the choice of how I live my own life, why can’t I choose how to die my own death?”). Lyons strikes a winning balance, reaching deep feelings while avoiding the traps of sentimentality. Agent: Laura Macdougall, United Agents LLP. (Sept.)