Audiobook Review: Eleanor by Jason Gurley
A Rapid Review
Publisher: Random House Audio | January 2016
Format: Audio Download | 13 hours | Rating: 3 stars
Audio Listening Level: Intermdiate Genre: Fantasy
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.
Eleanor repeatedly visits alternate universes where she experiences different outcomes in her mostly tragic life. I found the story to be sad, almost depressing. At the same time, it was beautifully written; a very dreamlike, haunting tale.
It was not at all what I was expecting. The first half was good, but as the story progressed the plot became more convoluted and difficult to follow. An additional problem for me was that I didn’t like most of the characters. And poor Eleanor — her entire life was one tragic event after another as we went through many ‘what-ifs’.
As I’ve said before, fantasy can be hit or miss with me, and this one missed. I’m glad I stuck it out to the end, though, because the story does wrap up and the reader finally understands what’s happening. I’m probably in the minority here as I’ve seen many glowing reviews, so if you enjoy magical realism or fantasy, give this a try.
The book was beautifully read by Cassandra Campbell, and probably the reason I was able to continue to the end even though I was losing interest in the story. Her narration conveyed the dreamlike, haunting atmosphere that prevailed throughout the story.
[Audio Sample on SoundCloud.]
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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