Mr. Byrne has found another book that he would like to recommend heartily.
Where women are created for the pleasure of men, beauty is the first duty of every girl. In Louise O’Neill’s world of Only Ever Yours women are no longer born naturally, girls (called “eves”) are raised in Schools and trained in the arts of pleasing men until they come of age. Freida and Isabel are best friends. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year, they expect to be selected as companions–wives to powerful men. All they have to do is ensure they stay in the top ten beautiful girls in their year. The alternatives–life as a concubine, or a chastity (teaching endless generations of girls)–are too horrible to contemplate.
But as the intensity of final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty–her only asset–in peril. And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future–even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known.
“Disturbing, provocative . . . I was utterly captivated from beginning to end.” Gabriel Byrne (“In Treatment,” “The Usual Suspects,” “Miller’s Crossing)
Only Ever Yours won the Irish Book Awards Newcomer of the Year award for 2014 and is available at Amazon.com and Amazon UK.
You can follow Ms. O’Neill on Twitter, where she is friendly and accessible. She is also available on Facebook and Instagram.
Thanks for sharing what book Gabriel has recommend this time.
I normally read all books that he recommends, but this time I will not read it.
It sounds disgusting to me. But I must admit that if I had a young daughter that only talked about how she looked and how to please men, then I would have read the book, and then I maybe would have asked her to read the book.
This book could just a well have been titled “Born into Hell”. And what is so very scary, the seeds of some of the aspects of such a society seem to have been sown already. I’m only two thirds in, it makes me feel sad. Could we ever become this shallow?
You know, Nora and DeMonk, I have a feeling that Gabriel Byrne’s reading list has been influenced lately by a certain someone in his life. He’s been branching out, reading more women authors, more contemporary authors. I think he is experimenting and trying new works–always a good thing! So we should not be surprised when we find ourselves wondering why he chose this title or that one. We just have to hang on for the literary ride.
I just purchased Ms. O’Neill’s book and plan to read it when it is published for my Kindle in April, so I’ll say more about it later.
And heck! I still have not finished reading “At Swim-Two-Birds”! ;-)
Well, I finished it. It is a shocking read indeed. To say that it made me feel uneasy would be the understatement of the year.