Monday, March 28, 2016

Book review: "Eleanor" by Jason Gurley

Eleanor and Esmeralda are a set of twins living in the Pacific Northwest in the early 90s. Their lives change forever on what soggy, fateful day, along with their mother Agnes....

In the 60s, Eleanor goes for a swim in the ocean, one of the few places where she feels at ease. When she leaves her husband Hob and her daughter Agnes for her routine Sunday swim she doesn't realize there will be nothing routine about it...

These two stories and their timelines (along with more) are intertwined and revealed in this ambitious book. I liked where the book was going. I liked the characters, and almost all of the storytelling. However, I felt like one of the story lines (the supernatural one, which would probably be the one that I would like the most!) just didn't click for me. It was a little murky. And not in a "oh mysterious!" way or a "Library of Mount Char" way ("What in the actual hell is going on here?!") It seemed like it was supposed to be pretty clear but I was struggling. Though when you get to the end of the book it pays off, it just falls kind of flat since you're not as invested because you're confused?  But maybe you guys are all just smarter than me and will get it all right away :)

This book is really about grief, family relationships, and carrying on when faced with the unexplained and the incredibly hard.  The relationship between mom Agnes and daughter Eleanor is so heartbreaking and sad, but probably a pretty accurate representation of what can happen when a family has to deal with grief and tragedy.

I've made this book sound really depressing, and while it is sad it doesn't make you feel like you've just read something super depressing. The story is interesting enough that you don't get weighted down with the sad. I give it a 3.2 out of 5 because I liked where it was going but it didn't quite seal the deal with me.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books

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