Choosing Eleonore tells the story of a one-way friendship, of tragic loneliness. In it, award-winning Quebec author Andrée A. Gratton explores the syndrome of the delusion of being loved. Centred on two young women: Eleonore and Marianne, this is Marianne's story. From the first sentence, we feel that something is wrong in her perception of reality. "Long before we met, Eleonore had been dreaming of me," she says. But who is this Eleonore, whom Marianne had never spoken to? What is so fascinating about her? Neither humiliation and rebuffs nor rejection will disabuse Marianne of her certainty of being loved by Eleonore.
A truly original character study of misplaced love, unresolved yearnings, and compulsive behaviour. To enter Eleonore’s mind is to put aside the conventional rules of intimacy that bind two ‘lovers’ and travel a road so deeply troubling, yet oddly compelling and intimate. This spare, yet astute translation by Ian Thomas Shaw begs the reader to finish the novella and begin again. A must read.
Susan Doherty, author of The Ghost Garden
In this one-way friendship that makes no sense to Eleonore, we discover a curious relationship, sometimes touching, but more often rough and abrupt. You feel the unease growing and are curious to see where it will lead them. A very successful first novel.
Julie Roy, Coup de pouce
In Choosing Eleonore, Andrée A. Gratton offers a destabilizing story where friendship turns to madness. A fascinating incursion into a psychotic world, this novel plays on the discomfort generated by the narrator who imagines herself to be the best friend of a stranger she meets in the street and becomes obsessively attached to. It is a captivating text by the strangeness of the parallel universe in which the central character locks herself in.
The Prix Littéraire Découverte Jury