Publication Date: Available Now from Harper Voyager
Source: Review Copy
1985 Agnes’s daughter Eleanor is six years old. She shares her name with the grandmother she never knew and everything else with her identical twin, Esmerelda. But to Agnes, only Eleanor is a constant reminder of the past. 1993 After a dark event leaves her family in tatters, Eleanor, now fourteen, is left caring for her alcoholic mother, whose grief has torn her apart. But when Eleanor’s reality begins to unravel, she starts to lose her grip on time itself, slipping from the present into strange other lands where she’s in danger of losing herself altogether. Eleanor is the story of choices that ripple through time far beyond the moment they’re made and what happens when, just sometimes, bonds are so powerful they reach beyond this world and into another…
This book is incredibly hard to review. Everything that is beautiful about it cannot be spoken of in detail lest it spoil it for the next reader. I both love and hate these novels as they speak to me on a very basic level but then you have to try and put that into some kind of soundbite format that will tell other people whether or not it might be for them.
Eleanor is exquisite – in its language, in its story, in the way it invades your soul during the reading of it. Another incredible book in a year of incredible books for me I find myself running out of ways to say what I mean. It is an emotional, devastating read that is somehow perfectly wonderful whilst being entirely heartbreaking.
There is a touch of imaginative genius here that is difficult to describe. With the more other worldly elements Jason Gurley explores the ties that bind and the ones that sever – it is a journey of discovery not tethered by earthly boundaries, yet it is very real and beautifully done.
Hard hitting, gut wrenching, ultimately satisfying on many levels Eleanor is challenging and rewarding in equal measure. It is quite simply a gift of a novel that demands attention, the narrative runs from the basis of real life events, tragedy, love, loss, family then makes you look at them from a uniquely surreal angle and allows you to explore possibility in all things. A remarkable read.
So will it be for you? I honestly do not know. I can say, hand on heart, that it was absolutely for me.
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Happy Reading Folks!