The Memories of Eskar Wilde


Young Adult - Coming of Age
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/31/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Memories of Eskar Wilde is a work of fiction in the coming of age, social issues, and literary fiction subgenres. It is intended for the young adult reading audience and was penned by author E.H. Wilde. In keeping with the theme of memoir-style writing, the author tells his own life story of growing up in idealized affluence, until an inciting incident leads him to travel to Paris and beyond. As Eskar learns more about his own capabilities in a mysterious new land, he meets new friends and foes, and we are treated to a beautifully penned portrait of France and its many delights.

The greatest triumph for me about reading this particular novel is in the style of its writing, with a narrator-author character who is firmly in charge of how the story is told. The craftsmanship and wordplay in this help you to buy into the realism of Eskar and his many exploits, and the unique cultural shifts that he experiences in being dragged to the other side of the world. I find him both irritating and endearing, yet neither of these things was a flaw, but a draw to urge me into wanting to know more about him, to see him grow, learn, change and succeed as life leads him on a very winding and intriguing path indeed. As such, the plot threads are well-woven and the conclusion is far from typical, but totally satisfying. Overall, The Memories of Eskar Wilde is a sophisticated YA novel with plenty to offer to all who give it a try.

Asher Syed

The Memories of Eskar Wilde by E.H. Wilde is a fictionalized memoir that follows the titular character as he seeks to find answers surrounding his father's death. Eskar is an Australian-raised young man who makes his way to France following news of his father's mysterious death. The arrival of Eskar and his mother is disruptive to the supernatural ecology of the home and it becomes clear that there is more to his father's life in France than food and wine. Eskar is committed to understanding what happened to his father, following up on leads from planners and entries, and all the more nuanced details discovered as Eskar escalates his search for answers. Along the way, his father's obsession with food and wine becomes Eskar's too. The morsels of backstory that are revealed do more than teach Eskar about his father and shed light on his death; they also teach Eskar much about himself. “...I felt my mind clear. And with that came an understanding of Father, his life, and his relationship with me.”

The main character Eskar narrates his way through finding closure in the death of his father and discovering France's deeply entrenched wine culture in The Memories of Eskar Wilde by E.H. Wilde. Wilde covers a lot of ground in having Eskar unpeel the layers of the second life in France his father lived with the assistance of a close network of friends, his mother, a cat named Brie who could probably have his own spin-off book, and the spirits who have got some things they want to say. Eskar would most kindly be referred to as an exceedingly verbose old soul and whether or not a reader is able to suspend disbelief for the entirety of the novel and accept that he is a contemporary teenager will vary. There are a handful of surprises and one real doozie that take time to get to but all are worth the shuffle. Wrapped in the mystery of the life of Eskar's father is another individual and the answers that come pinned to them are most interesting. The Memories of Eskar Wilde is a solid choice for readers who enjoy a slow-burn novel.