Title: Eleanor and the Impossible
Author: M. Miles
Published: October 30, 2017
Genre: Young adult
How I got the book: I received a free digital ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review
Eleanor’s world is confined by the hedge around my guardian’s estate, but her imagination knows no boundaries.
Applying her scientific spirit to her favorite fairy tales, Eleanor devotes years to designing experiments that she hopes will attract fairies to her garden. But when a skeptical boy, instead of a fairy, appears in the garden, Eleanor’s concept of magic is shaken to the core.
The beauty of innocence, the perils of devotion, and the power of imagination are illuminated in a story that sings to the inner child: Eleanor’s story.
When the author approached me about this book, I was happy to see the imaginative elements in the story. From the summary alone, I had a feeling the story would be magical. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
Eleanor is an orphan adopted by Lady Fitzopul, a mysterious woman. She hires a nanny, Clara Abbey, to care for the child in every way possible. Eleanor grows up happily, but isolated and unaware of the outside world. Mr. von Due, the man who took care of Eleanor’s adoption, forbids her to go out as she had speech delays and is a peculiar girl. However, he has another plan up his sleeve.
While I found the beginning of the novel to be a bit slow, the more I read the more I was intrigued. I was thrown into Eleanor’s magical world through her best friend, Maggie, who made up stories and lies to share with Eleanor, who naively thought they were real.
Along comes Theo, a boy Eleanor’s age who Mr. von Due adopted himself. Theo’s goal is to woo Eleanor to gain her fortune. Theo is naturally kind at heart and realizes pretty quickly what a bad idea it is.
In a way, this plot is like a real fairy tale. Eleanor is waiting for her prince to come, not knowing that he doesn’t exist – or, not in the way she thinks.
This plot was cleverly crafted and told a wonderful story. While I was confused by Maggie’s words at first (even I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t), I was soon sucked in.
Eleanor is a naive, sweet young lady. She was adopted at a young age not knowing what happened to her parents or why until Maggie threw ideas into her head. She grew up believing in a magical world where fairies were hiding somewhere. She was the perfect protagonist for such a story and her character developed very nicely.
Maggie, however, was probably my favorite character. Eleanor took a liking to Maggie at a young age and Maggie found that as an opportunity. Maggie wasn’t happy with her life and, wanting to tell stories for a living, she spun a web of tales for Eleanor who believed every word. You could argue Maggie was an antagonist in some way, but she was lonely. I think it got to a point where she wanted to tell Eleanor the truth but was afraid to.
Theo was a wonderful character as well. All he wanted to do was make the others around him happy. He wanted to make his new father, Mr. von Due happy, but when he met Eleanor he realized there was much more to her. He was sweet even to Maggie.
Clara Abbey, Lady Fitozpul, Mr. von Due, Mrs. von Due, and Edward (Mr. and Mrs. von Due’s biological son) were all great supporting characters as well. I could go on about them, but for the sake of the length of this review, I won’t.
This book was written in third-person omniscient. This isn’t my favorite because I feel as though there’s more telling than showing. We see everyone’s points of views and thoughts and I don’t care to know about everyone. I’d rather know the protagonist and then infer about everyone else.
The author had such a way with words though that it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. The description was spot on and the way Maggie told her stories, her voice, was mesmerizing.
I wasn’t too sure about the novel when I first started reading, but the author surprised me in more ways than one. This kind of plot isn’t something I would normally pick up myself if I found it at the bookstore, but I’m glad I gave it a chance. I look forward to any other work M. Miles puts out there.
Eleanor and the Impossible by M. Miles gets…
5 out of 5 stars
“Maybe, then, magic is just the unexplained. And if you hang on to your curiosity, and you hang on to your sense of wonder, maybe there will always be magic in the world for you.” –M. Miles, Eleanor and the Impossible
About M. Miles
M. Miles is a young writer from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Like Eleanor, she enjoys the beauty of the natural world and the grandeur of a story well told.
Despite having studied biology in college, Miles has gone on to work as an English teacher, a content writer, and a novel editor. Eleanor and the Impossible is her debut novel. To keep up with new works in progress, visit mmilesblog.wordpress.com.
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