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Eleanor [Reading] ➽ Eleanor ➳ Jason Gurley – Thomashillier.co.uk 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 inwa 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 uickly 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.


About the Author: Jason Gurley

Jason Gurley's bestselling self published novel Eleanor was acuired by Crown Publishing and reissued in He's the author of Greatfall The Man Who Ended the World and other novels among them Awake in the World due in from Roaring Brook Press He lives and writes in Scappoose Oregon.



10 thoughts on “Eleanor

  1. Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー says:

    Sometimes there are beautiful books that become famous and resonate in the hearts of millions “Most souls wait for a very long time In the end the peace they seek is usually within themselves not within the confines of the world they left”Sometimes there are undeserving books that become popular “This is how the darkness is It knows nothing else It fills crevices pushing into the finest narrowest corners ascribing no meaning to the events that it carries but birthing and then swallowing them again as they expire” But sometimes there are beautiful ethereal books that deserve so much love and deserve to be discovered by so many people “Her mother will die but it will not be because death has found her mother It will be because her mother dared death to come visit” Eleanor is one of those books that never really took off as much as it have I first discovered the book working at the bookstore I was dusting a shelf when my eyes caught sight of a breathtaking hardcover that seemed to take me to a far off place before I even opened the first pageThis book begins at a coastal house A melancholy woman named Eleanor sits in a reading corner her husband built for her to look at sea She ignores her daughter ignores her husband She looks out on the sea on a stormy night and remembers herself in her prime an excellent swimmer who would have made it to the Olympics had she not fallen pregnant “And it is miserable to think that this is what adulthood is like two people cowering behind their grief lashing out at each other like injured animals” Every Sunday she goes out to swim in the ocean One Sunday when she discovers she is pregnant again she swims into the ocean and never comes back “There are so many demons Agnes tips the bottle back and her eyes flutter closed and she swallows and swallows again and the burn of it tells her it will be okay that everything will be just fine because the burn is always followed by the dark and the dark is followed by— Peace Or something very much like it She drinks and eventually her grip loosens on the bottle and she slips into that dark where Esmerelda where Eleanor where nobody else is permitted”I can't really emphasise how underrated this near modern classic is It's an extraordinarily written piece of art with unforgettable world building characters and plots resulting in the creation of an almost new kind of urban fantasy genre “A well of beauty tucked away inside the girl masked by drawn expressions and tired shoulders She carries unseen weights” Courtesy of Jen's mini reviews


  2. Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin says:

    MY BLOG Melissa Martin's Reading ListThis book started out so deep and sad I could feel each person's depression and grief It was real and it was hard The story goes goes through different times The years jump ahead to each person in the family and it all comes back around in the end We start out with Eleanor she has a husband named Hob and a little girl named Agnes Eleanor fights depression and other things because she was swimming her way into the Olympics but she got pregnant and never got back to it She swims in the ocean every day no matter what Hob goes a long with her to make sure she is okay I love the way the author writes us into the world of what the person is thinking EXCERPT She sits in the breakfast nook and watches the rain It falls with purpose as if it has a consciousness as if it intends to eradicate the earth layer by layer The front lawn is hard to make out in the downpour but Eleanor can already see that the topsoil has been churned into mud Her flowers bend sideways petals yanked off by the storm By afternoon only the thorny rose stems will remain Eleanor finds out she is pregnant again and this takes her depression even lower Then one day she disappears the last she is seen is at the ocean Then we jump ahead a few years to where Agnes is a grown woman with a husband named Paul and twin little girls named Eleanor and Esmerelda The sad thing is when the story is told through Agnes eyes she seems to have inherited some of her mother's mental illness This gets even worse throughout the book because of the accident that takes Esmerelda's life that's not a spoiler it's in the blurb The even sadder thing is as low as Agnes sinks nothing is worse then blaming your other daughter for the death of the other Eleanor is now a teenager trying to take care of her mother even though she doesn't appreciate it Her father Paul left them but he's still in Eleanor's life He wants her to live with him but she won't leave her mom Eleanor has a sweet aunt Gerry and a best friend Jack One day while Eleanor is at school something strange happens to her EXCERPT 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 the beginning of a series of events where Eleanor starts going into these dream like places This is where we all fall down the rabbit hole This is where she meets the evil keeper sweet Mea another evil thing and the ocean This is where we find the rift in time The rest of the story is trying to figure out who everyone is and what is happening Family members are now seeing Eleanor just disappearing why is she doing this where exactly is she going I have to say it's pretty freaking cool Once you find out all of the places reasons and what is going on it's just a really awesome concept of a book at least to me I was not going into this book expecting anything like this it was a total surprise I read the blurb yes but I just thought you know I don't know what I thought but it wasn't this Once you start crawling your way out of the rabbit hole and figuring things out it's just amazing I loved the cover of this book as well something about the closed eyes with tears coming down and the water below it all just goes with the whole book Reset I would like to thank Blogging for Books for a free print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review


  3. Jenna Jenna says:

    Simply stunningly magical You know how some writers can just take you immediately into their stories writing so descriptively that you are almost magically transported and immersed in their world? How some writers can create characters so strong and with such depth that you feel as though they simply must exist in the real world? Jason Gurley is one of those kinds of authors This is the second book of his I've read and I'm just amazed by the way he writes the level of clarity and depth the way he describes scenes and characters and their emotions Eleanor centers around a young girl who after the tragic death of her twin sister the alienation of her father and the partial loss of her mother to alcohol finds herself suddenly and confusingly disappearing from this world and entering into others With some writers this could be a bit confusing the way we are shifting from this world to a dream world to another dimension where time flows back and forth and yet the way Gurley writes it is not confusing at all He flawlessly melds these worlds and Eleanor's transitions through them creating a story that is both deep and symbolic not to mention utterly magical It is not just Eleanor's story though but the story of her parents her grandmother who disappeared into the ocean long ago her dead twin In the dream world we meet the Keeper In the other dimension we meet Mea and Efeh All these characters and places swirl around and around until finally beautifully and perfectly they merge It is difficult to write much about the plot without giving away anything so I will not say any of it I give it 45 stars knocking off a half point because at times I felt there was a little too much description; however this might only be that I've been anxious and had I read it any other time I would have relished it all I don't want to say it was too much if it was only my mood sometimes making it seem a little slow movingIf you enjoy novels with a twist and those leaning toward the fantastical or if you just enjoy good books with strong characters written by amazing writers you should read Eleanor Imagine that time is a river and you are a bird A bird is not bound to follow the river


  4. Edward Lorn Edward Lorn says:

    Every once in awhile a book will come along that changes how I feel about the fiction I consume Raises the bar as it were Eleanor is one of those books that makes me consider how I've rated books in the past Based on how much I loved this book I've obviously rated some books five stars when they haven't deserved them Because this one is now high on my list of the best novels I've had the pleasure of reading Definitely it is in my top ten Eleanor takes a detailed and unflinching look at grief and depression and how those bastards affect us and the people around us There is an explanation for depression in this book that was fascinating I don't believe the explanation in a real world sense but I believe in this version of it the one in Gurley's world the one he creates in this book I feel that in the world of Eleanor depression is most definitely created by such things In other words I found truth in the fiction My suspension of disbelief was so complete that I started considering how plausible Gurley's world might be which might sound silly but such was the level of my immersion That's some powerful fiction kids For a brief instant I understood how so many people could read the bible and believe in invisible infallible deities eternal hellfire and never ending paradiseWhat I really found captivating was Gurley's ability to paint vivid landscapes and vibrant images that I simply could not put out of my mind I was on an adventure sightseeing in worlds previously unknown to me This book had some of the coolest set pieces I've ever come across And I mean ever As redundant as that is this is truthfully the most beautiful book I have ever read Gurley created crystal clear vistas and made darkness tangible This book is simply put pure magic and illusion Reading it made me feel like a kid again Thank you Jason Gurley I mean thatMy one criticism is that I knew who everyone was the moment they were introduced You'll likely understand what I mean when you read this book And you should It's something I want everyone to experience young and old In summation Eleanor was sent to me by Crown Publishing in exchange for this review but I wish they hadn't I wish I had found this on my own and that I had paid for this book so that I didn't have to tarnish my review with that disclaimer I've given Crown's books anywhere from one to five stars but this is hands down the best I've read from their publishing house And Dear Jason Gurley you have a new fan I will consume everything you write in the future and everything you've written in the past BravoFinal Judgment If you like the sound of What Dreams May Come as written by Neil Gaiman you'll love this book


  5. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    The fantastical elements of this novel don't really start until around page 80 but really they are what make it special Up until then it was of a novel of a family and the loss of a child something I felt I had read but then it morphs and shifts into a much engaging story of the afterlife and twin connections grief and healing and the power of dreams The writing of these other worlds other presences is descriptive and beautiful The real world is logically sad and difficult for EleanorSet in the dreary northwest specifically the Oregon coast I was surprised at the amount of ocean swimming the characters did I grew up in Oregon an hour from the ocean and we were told NEVER to swim in it the dangerous rip tidescurrents being ever present Also the water is freezing cold all of the time So I kept being pulled out of the novel to wonder if there are people out there swimming along the Oregon coast but surely they aren't rowing out from the shore the waves are pretty dramatic The author lives in Oregon now; what does he know that I do not? I just can't reconcile it Surely the coast is not so different from 15 years ago This is just a little complaint from a longtime OregonianThis is the novel that The Lovely Bones wished it was Not exactly the same premise but the story as a whole seems better connected and realistic despite the fantastical elements I was provided this book through Blogging for Books who got it from the publisher As such the review will end up on my blog as well but possibly in a fleshed out form once I get my act together


  6. Liz Liz says:

    I have had a very contentious relationship with this book over the past two days One minute I loved it and the next minute I wanted to throw it across the room Love throw repeat I found the characterization to be superb and that is a very important element to me Gurley managed to put me right there inside Eleanor's heart and mind She’s brave and strong and living a life that no child should ever have to and at the same time she’s this vulnerable young girl at the mercy of something far beyond her understanding I think this book was intended be about healing and starting over and family coming together and all those lovely ideas For me it just missed the mark I had a real problem with the fantastical nature of it all At some point in the second half of the book it takes over the story almost completely I’ve read and enjoyed other fantasy fiction but this just didn’t come together for me and I still don’t uite “get it” Maybe it’s my need to categorize and pinpoint causes for each event that prevented me from going with the flow I’d venture to say that a lot of readers won’t have this problem and will enjoy the book immensely All in all a mostly enjoyable and pretty heartrending read with a good dose of redemption just when I needed it I can’t say I loved it but I can say that I was unable to put it down for very long


  7. Steve Steve says:

    Easily among the best books I'll read this year if not #1 This is one of those books that will stick with me for a long time to come and it'll be difficult to move on to something elseThis is the story of a young lady Eleanor that lived through the tragedy of the death of her twin several years earlier her parents' reactions and how they fell into their own worlds of mourning and loss and the impact it has on Eleanor A magical story of loss recovery and ultimately love regainedHighly recommended


  8. Figgy Figgy says:

    “Shortness of breath?” 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 would say It’s so much They’re so much bigger than just those wordsEleanor is the story of two women with the same name related but a generation apartEleanor the first is a young wife and mother of one and she’s just found out she’s pregnantPregnant AgainSometimes Eleanor swore her life was being written by someone else’s hand Certainly it wasn’t Eleanor’s Maybe Hob’s Maybe Agnes’s even – she’d asked not six weeks earlier for a little brother or sister“And we can call her Patricia” Agnes had pronounced “Or Patrick”She’s not happy she feels anxious unsettled trapped and she longs for the open waterShe’s grateful that preparations for the new baby seem to have distracted Hob and Agnes She worries that those terrible guilty thoughts are readable on her face Her attacks come all the time now but she finds uiet dark places – such as the closet floor behind Hob’s hanging shirts and sweaters – and cries there where nobody can see herThen one day she goes for a swim in the ocean and doesn’t come backThe rest of this review can be found HEREAfter reading Review to come when I can piece my thoughts together More speculative than I was expecting but probably not speculative enough for big spec fic readers Very much a literary spec fic story Beautifully written well rounded in terms of story but some uestions left unanswered


  9. Myrna Myrna says:

    Love the coverNo spoilers hereThis book starts out sad and emotional after terrible tragedies befall the family Then it starts to get a little confusing as not all of the information you need to know is revealed right away As the story progresses it does unfold through the main characters and jumps back and forth in time This novel is not particularly gripping but surreal complex and well written It is like nothing I've ever read but did remind me a bit of the movie What Dreams May Come If you are looking to read something that is interesting and uite different I highly recommend this one Great job Jason Gurly


  10. Amy | littledevonnook Amy | littledevonnook says:

    This was such a wonderful novel mystical and heart wrenching a really pleasant surpriseThis story is told through the eyes of three generations of women Firstly we see Eleanor as she struggles with married life and the knowledge of another child on the way We then skip ahead in time to Agnes the daughter of Eleanor as she fights depression with alcohol after the death of one of her own children And lastly we follow Agnes's remaining daughter also named Eleanor as she tries to live without her sister and the knowledge that her mother is slowly drinking herself to death The main bulk of this novel is told from the perspective of young Eleanor she is somehow skipping from reality into the dreams of her family members how is this happening? Who is controlling her life and what does she have to do to fix everything?The pacing of this book was fantastic I found the short chapters and engaging plot line really dragged me in to the magic of this novel I don't know if I can even fully express the wonder of what is held in these pages I would recommend that if you have any interest you should definitely pick it up I know I shall definitely be seeking out some work from Jason Gurley as I really connected with his beautiful writing style Recommendations welcome


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