Book Club Pick: August 2017
Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: Stand alone novel
Country: United States of America
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
First Published: 2013
eleanor…Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
park…He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set across the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
Eleanor & Park was the debut young adult novel by Rainbow Rowell. It take place in Omaha, Nebraska in 1986. It is a love story between two sixteen-year-olds, Eleanor and Park.
Eleanor has crazy red hair and a strange fashion sense. Park is half-Korean (his parents met when his father was stationed in Seoul) and has an interest in punk and New Wave music.
They first meet when Park begrudgingly allows Eleanor to sit next to him on the school bus. At first they do not speak or even look at each other. Park notices that Eleanor is discretely reading his comics over his shoulder. At first he waits giving her time to read before he turns the page. Eventually he brings her own comics and later mix tapes.
Both feel alienated at home. Eleanor has an alcoholic abusive stepfather and Park has distant relationship with his father, who he feels is tough on him for not being masculine enough.
The story is written from a third person narrative with a dual perspective. The reader sees the the world from both Eleanor and Park’s perspectives.
The novel has received some criticism of its stereotypical portrayal of Korean-American culture but otherwise it is an intelligent and witty look at first love.
Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.