Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life by Anna Funder – Our Review


Our Review…

Compelling, spellbinding and utterly original, Wifedom will have you lost for hours in the fascinating literary world surrounding the young Eileen O’Shaughnessy and the more worldly and debonair George Orwell.

A vibrant Eileen was married to Orwell in 1936 and stayed with him for nine turbulent years encouraging his writing and living with his numerous flagrant affairs until her early death at the age of 45.

George is drawn instantly to Eileen, she is wilful and beautiful, his intellectual equal and quite brilliant in her own right. She studies at Oxford under J R R Tolkien reading English Literature and Psychology,  but is dealt a savage blow when she fails to achieving her crucial ‘Firsts’…although it is noted here that no woman in five years did. So she leaves Oxford and types and edits Orwell’s manuscripts, but more crucially works intimately with him on his two great works, Animal Farm and 1984. Here Funder suggests both were written extensively under Eileen’s influence and guidance. Thus, for the first time Funder effectively rewrites Eileen back into the centre of George Orwell’s legacy.

Wifedom sings with beauty and life. Written in first person narrative, I felt as though I was in the same room with the lovely Eileen, who’s quick wit masks even the most savage of pains.

Wifedom is a shining ode to a most remarkable woman and the journey of a partnership that created two of the most incredible books in literature. Fabulous, a five star read!

Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books