Monday, June 22, 2015

Becoming Ellen by Shari Shattuck Book Review

Title: Becoming Ellen
Author: Shari Shattuck
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction
Format: Kindle/Hardcover

Returning in the bestselling tradition of Jennifer Weiner, Shattuck brilliantly illustrates the deep friendship between two absolutely unforgettable women in this touching yet funny novel.

Ellen Homes is done being invisible. Well, sort of.

Living with her closest friends, Temerity and Justice, has helped her step out of the shell of invisibility she once hid away in. She still seeks refuge in solitary time and observing from afar, but she has pushed herself to open up to others in ways that bring her unexpected happiness.

But when a terrible bus crash upends her normal routine, Ellen finds herself on a whirlwind crusade for the unseen and downtrodden. Only this time, helping others—including two young children with no one else to turn to—will mean facing a pain from her past that she’s long tucked away.

Picking up where Invisible Ellen left off, Becoming Ellen returns us to the touching, poignant, and compassionate world of Ellen Homes as she learns how to navigate the world she has decided to become a part of.

My Review

Let me start off by saying that I had no idea there was a book before this. And after seeing that, and reading about it I now feel that my feelings about this book may have been a lot different if I had read that one first.

This book is about Ellen, a socially awkward woman who lives with Temerity (a blind woman) and her brother Justice. Ellen works the night shift at Costco cleaning because it is a way for her to have sanctuary and not have to deal with people. I know from reading this book that she was in foster care, finding this out after the bus accident with the little girl and her mother that got hurt. I also know that Ellen has lost quite a bit of weight recently, and has some scarring which is way less noticeable than what she thinks. She also journals about everything. What I don't know is how to relate to her as a character, and I think reading the first book might have put her into perspective a little.

The writing and storyline are both good and so are the characters - I just couldn't relate to Ellen at all and that made this book a struggle to read. I think I will pick up Invisible Ellen and see if that changes my opinion, and it may change this review and rating. But as for now this is where I stand.

3 stars

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