The Unfinished Business of Eadie Browne

The Unfinished Business of Eadie Browne


Eadie Browne is an odd child with unusual parents, living in a strange house neighbouring the local cemetery. Bullied at school - but protected by her two best friends, Celeste and Josh, and her many imaginary friends lying six feet under next door - Eadie muddles her way through.

Arriving in Manchester as a student in the late 1980s, Eadie confronts a busy, gritty Victorian metropolis a far cry from the small Garden City she's left behind. Soon enough she experiences a novel freedom she never imagined and it's seductive. She can be who she wants to be, do as she pleases, and no one back home needs to know. As Manchester embraces the dizzying, colourful euphoria of Rave counterculture, Eadie is swept along, blithely ignoring danger and reality. Until, one night, her past comes hurtling at her with ramifications which will continue into her adult life.

Now, as the new millennium beckons, Eadie is turning thirty with a marriage in tatters. She must travel back to where she once lived for a funeral she can't quite comprehend. As she journeys from the North to the South, from the present to the past, Eadie contemplates all that was then - and all that is now - in this moving love letter to youth.

Our Review

'Eadie Browne lives by the graveyard,' he told everyone, rolling his eyes as if I really wasn't worth talking about.' And her parents only come out at night.

This was one hundred per cent true.

And I really loathed that boy just then."

The Unfinished Business of Eadie Browne is a story of friendship and identity, of a girl growing comfortable in her own skin. She is a bit of a misfit at school, unconventional. Eadie is mercilessly bullied by one of her classmates, Patrick Semple. His bullying means that she feels ashamed of her parents, and to cover for that she decides to make up some stories about her eccentric parents being spies. 

"I didn't do it to gain friends - I had enough of those in the cemetary - I did it to win a reprieve from being the weird kid with the strange dimple who lived near the graveyard. I did it to keep Patrick at bay."

Eadie soon tires of having to keep up a pretence for her schoolmates as she feels she can't be herself around them. However, lucky for her she has Josh and Celeste who seem to love the real Eadie, the Eadie who feels at home among the unvisited graves and cemetary workers. 

The three friends are inseperable and the book follows their journey into adulthood. 

"Three sides of a triangle. Three magnets. One for all, all for one. Josh Albert. Celeste Walker. And Eadie Browne."

The Unfinished Business of Eadie Browne is a dual timeline story. The second timeline is set in 1999 and follows Eadie and her husband driving home for a funeral. The journey is slightly uncomfortable because of she is travelling with her husband and all is not well in their marriage. 

"My husband and I have been skirting around the issues and obstacles between us in a slalom of stuttering words and swallowed conversation that slip off the surface." 

I loved Eadie's unconventional upbringing and her character in general. She sounds like a girl I would have wanted to be friends with, obsessed as I was with spooky things. 

"My parents believed that our particular world of 41 Yew Lane and Parkwin Garden City Cemetary was a safe and beautiful place for me to roam and scamper and speak to strangers all by myself adn, by the age of five I was doing precisely that. I had no brother or sister so I was to make friends where I could find them and the cemetary was an excellent location for this, whether they were walking and talking - or dead and buried." 

The Unfinished Business of Eadie Browne isn't just a light and fluffy book, there were plenty of scenes in it that had a depth. One of the scenes that stayed with me was the scene with was the scene where Patricks writes 'Yid' on Josh's arm. 

The Unfinished Business of Eadie Browne is classic Freya North in terms of the writing style. I loved it, it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling I am familiar with from her previous books. It is defintely a book I will read again.






Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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