One action has a significant effect on what will come after it, whether we realize it or not. We’ve become interested enough in it to give it a name: the butterfly effect. Something that your grandparents do could play a large role in how your life turns out. Jason Gurley’s Eleanor toys with the butterfly effect concept and traverses through time and various spaces of consciousness.
Six year old Eleanor’s childhood was rudely brought to an abrupt end when an auto accident takes the life of her twin sister Esmerelda. This abrupt ending to childhood is not entirely unfamiliar within Eleanor’s family as her mother Agnes dealt with a similar loss when her mother, Eleanor’s namesake, disappeared into the ocean when Agnes was five years old. Learning to live with the loss of a loved one and adapting to new circumstances of caring for her alcoholic mother, Eleanor begins to travel to odd places as she passes through doorways. Not understanding what’s happening to her and not realizing that she goes missing for extended periods of time, Eleanor attempts to comprehend the strange places she’s visiting and how it can improve the lives of her broken family.
Surreal at times, the concepts presented within this narrative were incredibly intriguing and extremely well written. The aspect of the fluidity of time was beautifully addressed, particularly as it did not resort to standard science fiction tropes to explain it (which I’m all for, but it would have lacked a certain elegance in this instance). While I was not surprised at the true identities of Mea, the Keeper, and the ocean (having surmised at their first appearances), the manner in which they are woven into the story was well done and creates a certain amount of suspense to build pacing and drive Eleanor to act. It was easy to become attached to the characters presented throughout the text and root for them to succeed in creating that “happily ever after” that they were initially robbed of in life.
Overall, I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.