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.
JASON GURLEY is the author of Greatfall, The Man Who Ended the World, and the fiction collection Deep Breath Hold Tight, among other works. His stories have appeared in the anthologies Loosed Upon the World and Help Fund My Robot Army!!! He was raised in Alaska and Texas, and now lives and writes in Portland, Oregon.
I didn’t know too much about this book going in and that made this read very interesting. I knew it was about the life of one twin whose sister had died. That was about it. I do not normally read fantasy and when this novel introduced some fantasy elements, I found them intriguing but slightly confusing.
Aesthetically, the book is beautiful. The cover image is simple but tells a story. It depicts the story perfectly. The pages are soft to the touch and I love that in books. The book itself, is a bit heavy to hold while reading in bed but not too bad.
I love it when a male writes a book from the female perspective and does it well. The narrator is several different characters in the story but each time the characters switches, it is noted. Eleanor is the main character in this story and she is dealing with taking care of her alcoholic mother who has gone into a tailspin after the death of her daughter. Eleanor is trying to balance her grief and her life when she suddenly and inexplicably vanishes from her world and materializes in various other worlds. Needless to say, when she rematerializes in her world, she can not explain what has happened, where she went or why she wakes up bruised and battered.
Without giving away spoilers, this story is about family, friendship, love and what would happen if you were given the opportunity to go back and reset your life.
Although this genre was not necessarily in my wheelhouse, I enjoyed it and the writing was very well constructed. I give this book 4 crowns and a wand.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.