THE BUS ON THURSDAY | Shirley Barrett
09.18.2018 | MCD Books
Rating: 4/5 stars
Eleanor Mellett is living a normal, everyday life as an elementary school teacher, until things slowly start to unravel, starting with her boyfriend breaking up with her. Eleanor certainly didn’t see that coming and isn’t quite sure how to react. While she’s learning to adjust to her newly single life, she finds a lump on her armpit. Things quickly spiral out of control as she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Eleanor ends up losing much of her breast tissue and despite the reconstructive surgery, she can’t find a way to feel comfortable putting herself out into the dating world. Her cancer diagnosis also forced her to move back home and leave her job. Eleanor’s post-cancer life is leaving her with a lot to be desired.
I was at work scratching my armpit. I was literally at my desk scratching my pit and I felt it and I freaked out and I didn’t tell a soul and normally I’m the kind of person to blurt out everything. So I guess I panicked from the word go.
In an effort to pick up the pieces and start fresh Eleanor accepts a teaching opportunity in a remote town called Talbingo, where she will be the only teacher at their primary school. The previous teacher, Miss Barker, has suddenly vanished in the night. Miss Barker is hailed around town as being a prolific teacher whose number one priority was always the children she taught, so why would she just up and disappear? As Eleanor attempts to settle into her new life she begins to think she might have chosen the wrong place to start over. Talbingo is more than a little creepy. For starters, there’s the friar who tried to perform an exorcism on her to fight off any remnants of the demon that brought her cancer. Then there’s the fact that the whole town seems to be absolutely obsessed with Miss Barker. Living in a remote cabin with no cell or Internet service and surrounded by the odd people of Talbingo, Eleanor must either find her place or find a new plan. Can she survive in Talbingo?
It’s getting so that I don’t trust my own consciousness.
THE BUS ON THURSDAY is placing high on the list for one of my most entertaining reads of 2018. The story is told as unposted blog entries from Eleanor, so instantly the reader is connecting with her on an intimate level and is made to feel like they are listening to a friend tell them a story. A quite out there and at times unbelievable story! Eleanor’s life is all over the place, she knows it, and she owns that she might be making some mistakes. She is a hilarious narrator who is brutally honest about those around her, as well as herself. I did not want this book to end! There is also an interesting paranormal, suspend your belief element that truly makes the book all the more interesting. Eleanor can’t seem to decide if these instances are real or imagined and neither could I at times. Then there is the ending…I’m still not sure how I feel about it or if I’m interpreting it correctly, but that makes me love that book can be interpreted so differently depending on the reader. THE BUS ON THURSDAY is a page turner that will keep you at the edge of your seat wanting more!
A special shout out to MCD Books for sending me a free review copy!