Book Review: “Only Ever Yours” by Louise O’Neill

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In a world where the worth of a woman is contained in a petri dish, where she has been stripped off her name, her identity and trained to repress if it exists, any desire to be the best she can be, Freida will just have to be happy. Because in this world, the highest she can attain amounts to being chewed and rendered as flavourless as a spat out used chewing gum.

To this day, and it has been a while since I read this piece, the hairs on my arms just raise every time I think about this book. Sadly, it is not far-fetched to mention that the world we live in is short of resembling this one. This is evidence that a lot of work still needs to be done so that every baby girl born today, does not suffer a fate as sad as this one and can enjoy equal rights to men. Needless to say we have a long way to go.

onlyeveryours“Only Ever Yours” is one of those reads that will make you wish you had taken blue pill from “The Matrix”. Once you read it there is no going back. It cannot be undone.

Frieda is an eve and just like all of her sisters she has been designed to perfection in a test tube with the only purpose to serve and always be willing. Once Frieda graduates, she will have the opportunity to give back to a male dominated society either as a chastity to help other eves on their way to become beautiful and perfect or a concubine by being a vessel for men to satisfy every single one of their desires .However, if she is really lucky, she will become a companion, marry, bear sons and be terminated at the tender age of 40.

It’s as if I have been marked by the words, the conveyed feelings. It’s as if I have walked in one of the eves’ shoes for a while, and even though I am back to my reality I cannot shed my eve’s skin.

I cannot help but feeling infuriated by this book, however I suppose that it is its purpose for the reader. A wake up call, to remind us that the world we live in and its attitude to women is not ok.

Louise O’Neill here does not pull any punches. There is anger in her words however, it is constructively channelled so the right message comes through with the right tone. The lashing out in this piece is objective and there is only one question asked of our society. Is it really what you want for women? Do you just want them beautiful, perfect, and submissive, with a life who is not their own where their freedom is curtailed?

Even with our main character Frieda, we see that while trying to achieve all those things, she is doomed one way or another.

Be prepared, there is no happy ending here.





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