10 March 2021

Review: Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray book cover
* Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *

Readers of Carpe Librum will know that I love reading - and watching documentaries - about hoarders. There's something uniquely fascinating to me about the physical manifestation of their grief, personal trauma or mental illness and the appeal of the before/after transformation process and subsequent recovery - albeit rarely achieved - is irresistible.

In Everything is Beautiful, Eleanor Ray has created the perfect setting and background story for a hoarding character in the form of Amy Ashton. I was really able to get inside Amy's head and understand just how her hoarding started and how difficult it was for her to make any space in her house - or her life - for anything else.

The introduction of new neighbours and the way in which they immediately inserted themselves into Amy's life reminded me a little of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman but in a good way. Like Amy, I don't have children, but the neighbour's children and their interactions with Amy were instantly relatable and heartwarming and I loved their presence in the novel.

There's also a compelling mystery that is slowly unravelled and I was eager to find out what happened to Amy's boyfriend after he and her best friend disappeared twelve years ago. Right around the time Amy's hoarding started.

This book is being marketed at fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I can see why. I actually had the same reading experience with both books, despite the many differences between the two main characters. I became heavily invested in the wellbeing of Amy (as I did Eleanor), and I wanted to see her character grow and heal from her trauma. 

Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray is a heartwarming contemporary novel and I found myself enjoying an unexpected five star reading experience. Highly recommended.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

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  1. Replies
    1. It was such a great read wasn't it? Glad we both enjoyed this one.

  2. Absolutely! Off to order this one right now. thanks!

    1. Wow, thanks Carole, I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

  3. This sounds terrific, thanks for a great review.

    1. Thanks, I think you'd really like this one Theresa, hope you pick it up at some point. It'd also look lovely on your new bookshelves ;-)


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