Welcome to my tour stop for Eleanor by Jason Gurley. his tour runs Sept. 8-12. Eleanor is an adult book, though may have crossover appeal for mature YA readers (the main character is a teen through much of the book). There’s some slight bad language but no sexual content. This book is a mix of a variety of genres: it has paranormal elements, contemporary issues and has a literary feel with the gorgeous and unique writing style.
Author: Jason Gurley
Release Date: June 2014
Length: 450 pages
Genre: contemporary, paranormal
Source: CBB Book Promotions
Time is a river.
I cover judged this book. The water and the way Eleanor scrawls across the cover were selling points for me, but I didn’t understand the girl on the cover.
Needless to say, this book was more than I thought. There is definitely more than meets the eye.
There’s one important – actually two – details that are left out of the synopsis. The story is about a young girl named Eleanor, but the story really starts with her namesake, her grandmother Eleanor.
Grandmother Eleanor gave up everything – the Olympics, swimming, her dream – when she found out she was pregnant. She wants to get back on track and try again, to take back her dream.
Eleanor’s mother, Agnes, grew up not knowing or understanding why her mother walked out on her. All she knows is pain and grief left in her mother’s absence, and the last thing she wants is girls, but that’s just what she gets: twin girls.
When tragedy takes Eleanor’s twin, her family cannot withstand the grief that follows. She is left caring for her mother, and serves only as the living reminder of what her family lost.
I felt such sadness for Eleanor. I don’t know what it’s like being a twin, but I do know what it’s like living in the shadow of a sibling because of death. It’s a very hard thing to endure and cope, and impacts the grieving process. I was surprised Eleanor had coped with her grief as well as she had.
Jack is Eleanor’s best friend, and he’s the best kind of friend anyone would want. Jack would do anything for Eleanor, and he does. He cares for Eleanor when others have forgotten her. Eleanor takes care of her mother, but has no one to take care of her, so Jack does, even if that means crossing the line of friends into too personal family business. He is lost when one day Eleanor disappears after leaving the cafeteria.
This becomes Eleanor’s MO for the next several years. She disappears frequently, and travels to another world, but time doesn’t stop in the real world.
Eleanor’s father and Jack are both scared, and flood the town with Eleanor’s face plastered all over them. The day Eleanor disappears out of thin air is the worst one, and has serious repercussions in the real world, and the world where Eleanor is taken to.
This book was nothing like I expected. I was sad that Eleanor’s family kept suffering with loss each generation. It’s hard to live through one death. I could understand how her mother withdrew into herself, and because of that Eleanor had to become strong.
I really like the first half of the book. I loved the backstory of Grandmother Eleanor and Agnes. After Esmerelda’s death, I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into. Eleanor’s father and Jack piqued my interest, even though I struggled focusing on Eleanor’s transition through worlds. Gurley gives few clues as to Eleanor’s sudden world jumping. It’s two books going on all wrapped up in one.
****About the Author*****
Jason Gurley is the author of the bestselling novel Greatfall as well as The Man Who Ended the World, the Movement trilogy and Eleanor, a novel thirteen years in the making. His short stories, including The Dark Age, The Caretaker, The Last Rail-Rider and others, appear in his collection Deep Breath Hold Tight: Stories About the End of Everything. He is work has appeared in a number of anthologies, among them David Gatewood’s From the Indie Side and Synchronic and John Joseph Adams’s Help Fund My Robot Army!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects. Jason is a designer by trade, and has designed book covers for Amazon Publishing, Subterranean Press, Prime Books and many independent authors, among them bestsellers Hugh Howey, Matthew Mather, Russell Blake, Michael Bunker, Ernie Lindsey and others. Jason lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.
There are FIVE $20 Amazon gift cards up for grabs in this giveaway.