Review: The Art of Leaving by Anna Stothard

Book review | The Art of Leaving by Anna Stothard | 1 star

The Art of Leaving by Anna Stothard
Alma Books 2013
£7.99 (UK)
cover image: Mohamed Itani/Trevillion Images
cover design: Rose Cooper
ISBN: 978 1 84688 237 1



Leaving comes naturally to Eva Elliott: she spent her childhood abandoning schools and cities. Now she enjoys the thrill of saying goodbye much more than the butterlfies of a first smile or kiss. There’s so much more potential in walking away, and Eva has a dangerously vivid imagination.

During a rainy summer in London, where Eva lives in a rackety Soho flot with her boyfriend, she dreams of exit strategies. She becomes fascinated by a golden eagle who has escaped the Zoo to roam the city, and thinks up stories about the ghostly figure of a girl who lurks behind a window of a strip club opposite her office. When a beguiling stranger called Grace turns up in Eva’s life armed with a conspiratorial smile and an uunsettling secret, Eva is left unsure of what is in her head and what is reality.

In this haunting story about exists and depatures, Anna Stothard reveals that love has its fault lines and freedom comes at a price.

Bullet-point review


+ beatiful writing

– huh?
– added story lines don’t add to story

Full Review

The entire story I was trying to figure out what was going on. I couldn’t understand the story, the added story lines of the girl in the strip club or the eagle that escaped didn’t really add anything in my opinion. Sure sure, I get why they were in there (besides the fact that the book would be incredibly thin without), but they didn’t enhance the  understanding of why the main character did what she did.

More interesting would probably have been a broader description of her childhood, explaining why she came to like or enjoy goodbyes. However, this was a lot of strangeness, that has yet to come together as a story. At least the writing was beautiful.


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