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Eloise. by Judy Finnigan by Judy Finnigan

Eloise. by Judy Finnigan (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Judy Finnigan

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408285,656 (3.2)None
Title:Eloise. by Judy Finnigan
Authors:Judy Finnigan
Info:Sphere (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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Eloise by Judy Finnigan (2012)



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"I was risking my happiness, my husband and family because of my obsession with a ghost", 4 July 2016

This review is from: Eloise (Paperback)
Not my sort of book in fairness - a loan from an acquaintance that I felt obliged to have a go at.
It's pretty readable though far from being great writing. Our narrator, Cathy, is a rather drippy sort, emotionally fragile after a breakdown and struggling to cope with the sudden death of her friend Eloise. Yes, Eloise had cancer, but she seemed to die just when she was looking quite well. And Eloise's own mother, Juliana, feels the same qualms. When Cathy begins having wild nightmares in which her friend is pleading with her from the grave to look out for her children who are at risk from her husband, it causes marital disharmony with her impatient husband...

Very obviously inspired by the unquiet spirit in "Wuthering Heights", and also the unexpected hatred of a spouse for their partner as in Du Maurier's "Rebecca". Meanwhile Juliana's improbable lifestyle with her ancient, devoted retainers is aslso like something out of an old novel.
The storyline actually isn't bad with family secrets and an unexpected twist towards the end. The characters just don't have enough colour or believability to sustain one's interest or make one care what happens to them.
Maybe *2.5 ( )
1 vote starbox | Jul 4, 2016 |
I found Eloise to be a decent story. The author combined genres a bit to mix mystery and adventure with a hint of supernatural, and she created an interesting and fairly well written story that kept my interest. The setting, while modern day, is Cornwall, England, which is the same as the classic, Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. It is not a remake of this classic, but Ms. Finnigan has used similar elements in Eloise, and it was obviously part of her inspiration.
Although I liked the book, I didn't love it. The element of suspense is interesting, but not gripping. The characters were a bit one-dimensional and not attractive to me. They are not people who I really cared about at the end of the story. I would still recommend it as a good read, particularly as a description of this interesting place. I think the author has put a great deal of heart into the story, and that keeps it from being a mediocre tale. If you enjoy stories of the English seacoast with a touch of mystery and some mild romance, Eloise will fit the bill.
I am thankful to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this title. ( )
1 vote c.archer | Oct 16, 2013 |
You may have noticed that I really like mysteries and thrillers by UK authors, which I find differ quite a bit from those by U.S. authors since each culture in the world brings its own flavor to its writings. The book cover for Eloise, an international bestseller by Judy Finnigan, definitely peaked my curiosity but the publisher’s brief description sold me. Eloise is a psychological thriller with paranormal elements, all set on the Cornwall coastline that Daphne du Maurier made famous. You may think you’re not familiar with Daphne du Maurier but Alfred Hitchcock later adapted several of her works into films - have you seen The Birds? Eloise definitely has a du Maurier and Hitchcock feel to it. Read the rest of my review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=6568. ( )
1 vote PopcornReads | Sep 23, 2013 |
One year ago, Eloise died of cancer leaving behind her husband, Ted, their twin daughters, her mother, and her best friend Cathy. When Eloise' ghost starts haunting her dreams, telling her that her daughters are in danger, Cathy is convinced that the haunting is real and that Ted is the danger Eloise is referring to. However, no one believes her. She has only recently recovered from a breakdown and her psychiatrist husband, Chris, is convinced that this is just a symptom of her illness despite some odd and violent behaviour from Ted. Is grief causing Cathy to imagine Eloise' presence or are the twins really in danger?

There is a definite Gothic feel to this novel. This is increased by its setting in Cornwall near cliffs overlooking the sea and its nods to both Daphne Du Maurier and Emily Bronte. There is the haunting, the suggestion of buried secrets, the handsome young stranger, the seemingly overwrought and fragile heroine whom no one believes, and even a exorcism thrown in for good measure.

At times, the story becomes somewhat shmaltzy with Cathy's depiction of Eloise' and Chris' perfection despite the fact that Eloise, at least in ghost form seems willing to destroy Cathy's marriage and Chris seems more than willing to excuse the behaviour of others rather than that of his wife especially given that he's a psychiatrist and thinks she is having a breakdown. As well, despite Eloise' referrals to danger from an unnamed 'he' (if something is so important that someone needs to come back from beyond the grave, can't they at least name names), there is no real mystery in who this 'he' is.

Despite these criticisms and, to be honest, these are faults of most gothic novels, for the most part, I enjoyed Eloise. Author Judy Finnigan has a deft hand at description and makes the mysterious beauty of Cornwall come alive and separate from the gothic nature of the tale, is a real and honest portrayal of grief, loyalty, and the ties that bind us to our families. Eloise has its flaws but, as a debut novel, it's pretty darn good. ( )
  lostinalibrary | Sep 21, 2013 |
Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2013/08/eloise.html

Eloise, the character for whom this book is named, is dead. As the book begins, we learn that she lost her battle with cancer a year ago. Surviving Eloise are her husband Ted, her two young daughters, her mother, and her best friend Cathy. Cathy struggles with depression and is recovering from a complete breakdown. Surrounding Cathy are her husband Chris and her children - all of whom are concerned about Cathy's mental state.

Add to the story some supernatural elements and a secret from Eloise's past. Eloise begins haunting Cathy from beyond the grave. Cathy feels that there is something Eloise wants her to do to protect her young daughters. The reactions of those around Cathy range from understanding to disbelief and from anger to ongoing concerns about her sanity. Her concern for Eloise begins to harm her own marriage and her children. Her recovery from her breakdown is threatened.

The book started off as a supernatural thriller - a fun page turner. I was willing to suspend disbelief in the subject matter to go along for the ride. The book kept me guessing as to what Eloise wants Cathy to do. Her statement to not trust "him" kept me guessing as to which character it referred. Chris's treatment of Cathy - whether out of concern or not - bothered me. The characters and the story seemed to be developing towards an unexpected ending. All these elements kept me engaged in the book.

Unfortunately, then, the book came to a rather abrupt end and an obvious (to me) denouement - the answers to the questions unfortunately were the obvious one. Issues and relationships were resolved too simply and in some cases, unrealistically. I felt let down at the end of the book, wishing there was something more developed and more thoughtful. Still an enjoyable read but not a great one.

*** Reviewed based on a galley received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *** ( )
  njmom3 | Aug 2, 2013 |
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For Richard, with all my love and thanks for his patience, support and unfailing enthusiasm when I thought I'd never finish this book. I love you.
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Yesterday I almost saw her.
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Yesterday I almost saw her. I was standing on the sun deck, looking out to sea, revelling in the unexpected warmth of the February sun. A butterfly trembled on a nearby buddleia and suddenly I smelled her perfume. She wasn't there, of course. How could she be when I had seen her lying in her coffin just two weeks ago.… (more)

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