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OK – This is a first person story about Eleanor, an enthralling character, and a book that you cannot read without a smile, a laugh out loud, and an occasional tear!
What’s it about? – Without giving too much away, this is a story of a middle aged woman with a secret past. As the story unravels, the details begin to emerge, and it is clear to the reader in a disconcerting but endearing way, why Eleanor has become Eleanor, the quirky character we meet, get to know and love.
What can you say about the story telling? - This is a fiction book, but it seems very real. The characterisation is so strong and consistent. The descriptions are vivid, but without being dramatic or over wordy. We are instantly drawn into the book and watch with grim despair at some points, at some of the tragic happenings to Eleanor in her past life. However, overall, the humour of the book shines through.
What did you think of the characterisation? - The central character was Eleanor, whose outlook on life never ceases to charm and amaze. She is timid and reserved, but sometimes forthright and even rude, but the situations she finds herself in and the way she deals with them are hilarious. There is a lot of emotion in this book. You couldn’t read it and not feel the laughter at one moment and the pain in the next. But there is no self pity. Eleanor is Eleanor and stays in character throughout. The additional characters we meet provide a charming addition to the story.
What was good about reading this book? – It was instantly a book I couldn’t put down. I loved the humour, which was subtle at times. Gail Honeyman has a beautiful turn of phrase and I loved the style of her prose, and her vocabulary. It’s a pleasure to read it and sad to turn the last page.
What didn’t you like? – The book changes in tone in the second half. There is a more serious theme to the story at this point, and this is clearly not so funny. I didn’t dislike this, as it was an integral part of the plot, but I did notice the change in the tone of the book.
How did reading the book make you feel? – It’s always interesting to find out the way other people live their lives. We are all shaped by our past. The importance of caring, nurturing and love in our early years cannot be underestimated. Although I found Eleanor delightful, and loved her upfront thought patterns and reactions to everyday situations, quite often I felt a deep sadness. So the book is unique in that there is an exquisite blend of humour and sadness.
Would you recommend this book? – I would highly recommend this book. It’s a delightful reading experience. It’s beautifully written and deserves every success.
How many Daisies for overall readability and enjoyment?