Eleanor by Jason Gurley
Author: Jason Gurley
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Release Date: March 7, 2017 (first published January 12, 2016)
Goodreads Synopsis: Eleanor and Esmerelda are identical twins with a secret language all their own, inseparable until a terrible accident claims Esme’s life. Eleanor’s family is left in tatters: her mother retreats inward, seeking comfort in bottles; her father reluctantly abandons ship. Eleanor is forced to grow up more quickly than a child should, and becomes the target of her mother’s growing rage.
Years pass, and Eleanor’s painful reality begins to unravel in strange ways. The first time it happens, she walks through a school doorway, and finds herself in a cornfield, beneath wide blue skies. When she stumbles back into her own world, time has flown by without her. Again and again, against her will, she falls out of her world and into other, stranger ones, leaving behind empty rooms and worried loved ones.
One fateful day, Eleanor leaps from a cliff and is torn from her world altogether. She meets a mysterious stranger, Mea, who reveals to Eleanor the weight of her family’s loss. To save her broken parents, and rescue herself, Eleanor must learn how deep the well of her mother’s grief and her father’s heartbreak truly goes. Esmerelda’s death was not the only tragic loss in her family’s fragmented history, and unless Eleanor can master her strange new abilities, it may not be the last.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
REVIEW: Eleanor was a very heartbreaking read. It moved from one painful thing to another, but what made it more intense than all the lines in the book is the fact that much of it happens daily in real life. There are many who suffer from depression and battling with it every day, trying to surpass it and be loved by those around them, but never finding a footing in any of this world. Then the parent going through the motions and not realizing how beautiful things really are until it’s too late.
“Shortness of breathe?’ the doctor had asked her. ‘Muscle tension? Mental distraction?’ She looked down at her hands and nodded. Yes, to each of those things. Hearing them described so simply should have robbed them of their power, she thought; they were only words. But instead, she felt as if she should defend them. No, she should say. It’s so much more. They’re so much bigger than just those words.”
I felt as though I couldn’t possibly keep going after reading the tragedy that befell Agnes and her father, but it captured my attention and kept it even after all that. Maybe it was how much it hit close to home, with many of us having moments like those, or the feels of all of it even when there is much love all around us. Either way, I couldn’t place this novel down and I couldn’t help getting emotionally attached.
It moves down the line, years later, after Agnes has grown and has her own daughters. She has lost one in a tragic accident, destroying any signs of a loving mother towards her surviving daughter Eleanor (named after Agnes’ mother). And that is where things go from tragedy to full blown supernatural existence, shifting Eleanor’s life forever.
“Before she has a moment to truly consider any of this, she steps through the doorway–is, frankly, almost yanked through it–and then Eleanor is no longer in the cafeteria, no longer in her high school, no longer even in Oregon at all. Back in the world, Jack sees her disappear. He drops his carton of milk, bewildered; it pumps like a vein, then dribbles onto the table. She’s just gone.”
This is when the story really shines and moves forward into something more than just misfortune and hardships. It is the realism of it all that gives way to an open desire for an enchanting and fantasy driven storyline. It isn’t always just about the faults of man, about all our pains and afflictions, but hope that there may be more when it feels like there isn’t. Even so, there was still much anguish left in this read, but all of it incorporated together made this that much better of a novel.
***I received this copy from Crown/Penguin Random in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***