Author: Caitriona Lally
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publish Date: March 14, 2017 (Yesterday!)
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Vivian doesn't feel like
she fits in - and never has. As a child, she was so whimsical that her
parents told her she was "left by fairies." Now, living alone in Dublin,
the neighbors treat her like she's crazy, her older sister condescends
to her, social workers seem to have registered her as troubled, and she
hasn't a friend in the world.
So, she decides it's time to
change her life: She begins by advertising for a friend. Not just any
friend. She wants one named Penelope. Meanwhile, she roams the city,
mapping out a new neighborhood every day, seeking her escape route to a
better world, the other world her parents told her she came from. And
then one day someone named Penelope answers her ad for a friend. And
from that moment on, Vivian's life begins to change."
My Two Cents:
In "Eggshells," Vivian doesn't fit in and never has. In fact, her parents told her that she was a changeling and the reader is left questioning whether or not this really might be the case. Vivian spends her life doing things that seem odd to others. She tries to model behavior that would be considered normal but fails every time. She is lonely and decides to advertise for a friend and not just a friend but a friend specifically named Penelope. She feels that this will be the first step to creating a new life for herself.
This book is very much a character driven novel. We get to see the world from Vivian's perspective. It's a world where normal interaction with others must be thoroughly practiced and where Vivian often has to remind herself of what a normal way to behave would be. Much goes unnoticed by her; she can't understand why her sister may not want her just showing up on her doorstep without announcement. At first, Vivian's character felt very fresh for me. Her point of view is definitely different and I love an eccentric character. I did get a bit distracted in trying to figure out exactly what was going on with her, which took away from the book even though this is indeed a character driven story.
Sometimes there is too much of a good thing and that became the case with Vivian's character. There doesn't seem to be a true arc other than Vivian behaving the way that Vivian does and trying to overcome the same feeling that all humans, even those that are less eccentric, try to counter: the feeling of loneliness.