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Eggshells

Written by: Caitriona Lally
Narrated by: Alana Kerr Collins
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Publisher's Summary

A whimsical, touching debut about loneliness, friendship, and hope.

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, she is living alone in Dublin, where 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.

Debut author Caitriona Lally offers listeners an exhilaratingly fresh take on the Irish love for lyricism, humor, and inventive wordplay in a book that is, in itself, deeply charming, and deeply moving.

©2017 Caitriona Lally (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Eggshells

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  • Jeff Lacy
  • 2017-07-12

Memorable character Vivian Lawler

With a delicate and balanced performance by Alana Kerr Collins, the character of Vivian Lawler comes alive. Here is another memorable character like Ginny Moon and Eleanor Oliphant that will steal your heart. Caitriona Lally has done an extraordinary job of inhabiting a character, listening to her voice, reading her mind, living in her skin, and walking in her shoes in the streets of Dublin. It takes a lot of mental discipline and energy to be a character for so long, although so rewarding. This is an accomplishment of imagination as much of writing--writing that is sensitive, wise, energetic, funny, and raw. Vivian is a delightful character, not a mean bone in her body.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Pamela Rupnow
  • 2018-06-01

Literally nothing happens

This “story” is just the ramblings of a mentally disturbed woman. That’s it. No plot. Very little action of any kind. Maybe I don’t get the point but it was awful.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 2017-09-24

Great Perspective, A Little Meandering

If you are a person who enjoys stepping into a character’s life and journeying with them through the mundane to hear their thoughts and insecurities about it all, then this is the book for you.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-07-06

Brilliant

I don't often write reviews, but I was scrolling through Audible and noticed that this only had 3 stars and I was indignant. I read this book well over a year ago and it still stands out in my mind as one of the best books I've read in many years.

I understand it's not heavy on plot and the main character's hygiene (or lack thereof) may make you wanna gag, but the writing is absolutely masterful and you are given the opportunity to really see the world through the eyes of someone who is both VERY odd and oddly relatable. It is hilarious, poignant, poetic and utterly unique.

Also, the narrator is fabulous and just knocks it out of the park.

2 people found this helpful

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  • its ya meme
  • 2019-04-28

Not worth the time!!!!!

I would like to know how many lists the author included in this book they started making me crazy. I couldn’t finish this book What was the point of it!!!!really bad bad bad

2 people found this helpful

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  • jennifer casey
  • 2021-04-28

Meh

The reader was perfect. There really wasn't a story. Would not recommend unless you need something to listen to in order to fall asleep and don't care about retaining what you're hearing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Terry B
  • 2019-05-28

I couldn't finish it.

I couldn't finish it. Kudos to the narrator, though; she did a beautiful job. The story couldn't hold me. I wanted it to get better, to draw me in, but after an hour of a woman doing obsessive compulsive things... Enough!

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  • EJ
  • 2021-07-25

Lyrical nonsense!

Lyrical nonsense! I laughed out loud... so many times. “I’m uncomfortable with verbs; they expect too much.” Brilliant and silly.

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  • Anna
  • 2021-04-30

A changeling hard to love, but funny as hell...

This first book by Caitriona Lally is a magical look at the desperation and loneliness of a woman whose maladjustment has no precise diagnosis. Vivian has an older sister named Vivian, and two dead parents she does not miss. An unhappy and abusive past is hinted at throughout the book. Her parents regarded her as a changeling who does not belong to the family. Vivian lives like a small rodent hopping from one safe corner to another in a Dublin that does not love, accept or understand her. There are all manner of prescriptions for changeling relocation that Vivian explores on the city streets. My favorite chapter involves her exploration of the major kiosks of Dublin in the hope that one will have a thin place that will activate her transfer. "I decide to visit my thin places—places in which non-humans might live, potential gateways to the world I came from. My parents used force to try and shunt me back to this Otherworld." No matter what Vivian tries-- Leprechaun Charms, Hobbit Traps, and Rainbow Portals, among many others-- nothing works.

Along the way Vivian has encounters with her neighbors Mary and Bernie, her social worker David, her sister Vivian, her brother-in-law Patrick, her niece and nephew, her new friend Penelope and all manner of people in the service industry. The failure of each exchange is predicated upon Vivian's unique metaphysical lexicon. She perceives an illogical magic in words, numbers, shapes, and colors. Vivian's GPS for the real world is informed by literature, Celtic legend and classical mythology. She keeps track of strange coincidences in her notebook as an archaeologist studying the past, present and future all at once. There's a tension that builds with each new encounter. Will Vivian finally have an irreparable accident that will put her in real danger?

It takes more than a suspension of disbelief to appreciate Vivian's journey. She is equal parts frustrating and charming. Her hygiene is repellant. She's quite intolerant for a misfit. In short, she is a true changeling. I almost hope for a sequel where Vivian is somehow actually transported to a new world. Perhaps her message in a bottle arrives, and returns with an opportunity to visit a new land. Based on the interviews with Caitriona Lally, however, this was a hard character to inhabit for a year. I'm tempted to plot my next visit to Ireland according to Vivian's adventure. Whether virtual or real, Ms. Lally has given me a whole new way to consider the city of Dublin, and I am forever grateful.

I listened to the audible recording narrated by Alana Kerr Collins (which was delightful), as I followed along on my e-reader. The illustrations are few, but the turns of phrases are best seen on the page. As mentioned above, Vivian's lexicon informs her adventure. This requires a visual context. I hope a fan somewhere creates an armchair travel site to fully explore Dublin through Vivian's eyes. It would have lots of lovely tangents on all sorts of archane and mystical knowledge.

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  • Karen
  • 2018-07-09

This book was terrible!!! Nothing happened and really didn’t have much of a plot either

This book was terrible!!! Nothing happened and really didn’t have much of a plot either