Rating: 4.5 of 5

Now available in paperback.

Eleanor is the story of one woman’s choice and its ripple effects across the lives of her descendants. Young Eleanor’s mission, looking back through her life to find the ONE spontaneous decision that changed the lives of everyone in her family, will resonate with anyone who ever wished for a do-over.

Have you ever been driving your daily route and, for whatever reason, missed your usual turnoff or exit? Have you ever found out later that there was a traffic jam or accident at the missed point in your routine? A situation that, had you not detoured, you would’ve been smack dab in the middle of? Has that ever given you pause to wonder at the enormity of a single, split-second decision?

Eleanor reaffirms the ways in which one life affects another, in both good and bad ways. I read its final page and felt wholly satisfied. There is a prevailing sense of redemption and, if you’re still breathing, there are yet choices you can make to change the direction of your journey.

Our lives are determined by the choices we make on a daily basis; some of us minute to minute, others only after systematic analysis and preparation. But how often do we take the time to stop and reflect on the totality of those individual choices? The repercussions of a seemingly benign choice, like to drive in a thunderstorm, are equal parts terrifying and awe-inspiring. Toss in variables like other people’s choices intersecting with our own… whew, I could spend hours mulling this over.

Steeped in gritty reality – depression, alcoholism, and suicide – Eleanor propels itself into “MIND BLOWN!” territory with its use of time, dream worlds, and the afterlife. Gurley’s version of these concepts is reminiscent of books like What Dreams May Come or Einstein’s Dreams, while still being its own unique, heartfelt, mystical story. Highly recommended!

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Received from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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