Author: Jason Gurley
Series Status: Standalone
# of pages: 370
My rating: 3/5 stars
(Found on Goodreads)
When a terrible accident claims the life of Eleanor’s twin, her family is left in tatters, and her reality begins to unravel, dropping her in and out of unfamiliar worlds. When she returns to her own time and place, hours and days have flown by without her. One fateful day, Eleanor leaps from a cliff…and vanishes. In a strange in-between place, she meets a mysterious stranger who understands the weight of her family history: Eleanor’s twin wasn’t the only tragic loss. And unless Eleanor can master her strange new abilities, she may not be the last.
* I received a free copy in exchange for a honest review*
This book is enchanting and sad. For the first 70 or so pages the elements of “fantasy” or “magical realism don’t come into play but instead it’s the story of life and loss and blame. The way the story is told is through jumps in time between the characters and this was fascinating. It starts with Eleanor who is fighting depression and possibly some other mental health problems at this time. Her marriage and child has become her life which meant her sacrifice of swimming, as her depression worsens you can see the effects of it on her until suddenly she disappears and was last seen at the ocean. The story then jumps to the tragic accident, the death of Eleanor’s granddaughter Esmerelda and the after effects it has on the family.
Gurley has an incredible writing style and the emotion he is able to invoke in such small places helped tie the story together. He also manages to create a unique and thoughtful story that I was not expecting.
I did think this story would be more fantasy based instead of more emotion based but that does not diminish the great quality and value I found within it. With so much that happens to this family and Eleanor desperately trying to keep it from failing it was incredible to see the story unfold.
My major problems with the story had to do with the pacing because as I mentioned earlier there were no new elements to the story until seventy pages in. This made the beginning feel disjointed to me and caused my overall interest go down. So by the time the emotions ran deeper and the story opened up more I was more disconnected because of the beginning.
However I still really enjoyed the story overall and think this was a well thought out and strong read.
* I received this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much for a print copy!*