Author: Louise O'Neill
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Number of Pages: 398 pages
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Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Advanced Praise for Only Ever Yours
"Terrifying and heartbreaking, O'Neill's story reads like an heir to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and M.T. Anderson's Feed, and, like those books, it's sure to be discussed for years to come."
"A dark dream. A vivid nightmare. The world O'Neill imagines is frightening because it could come true. She writes with a scalpel."
"An ingenious exploration of gender roles, female identity, and female competition."
“Unbelievably believable, compelling, utterly riveting... Whilst it is dark, uncompromising and utterly daunting to read as a woman, it is and should be a classic in the making."
1. Where do your ideas come from?
I studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin and it was here, walking on the same cobblestones as Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Samuel Beckett did before me, that I decided I would try to make words, beautiful words, my career.
Life is not always so simple.
At 25, I started working as a fashion intern for the Senior Style Director at ELLE magazine in New York. There are no The Devil Wears Prada type stories – she was lovely and kind and supportive. Yet I wasn’t happy. Faced constantly with fashion’s obsession with extreme thinness, the anorexia that I had battled as a teenager re-surfaced and I relapsed.
She went from hanging out on set with A-list celebrities to spending most of her days in pyjamas while she writes, and has never been happier.