Time is a river.
1985. The death of Eleanor's twin sister tears her family apart. Her father blames her mother for the accident. When Eleanor's mother looks at her, she sees only the daughter she lost. Their wounded family crumbles under the weight of their shared grief.
1993. Eleanor is fourteen years old when it happens for the first time... when she walks through an ordinary door at school and finds herself in another world. It happens again and again, but it's only a curiosity until that day at the cliffs. The day when Eleanor dives... and something rips her out of time itself.
And on the other side, someone is waiting for her.
Eleanor is the novel Jason Gurley has been writing for thirteen years. Some things take a very long time to come together. The best things, usually.
The Keeper rocks in a handmade chair on her porch. Another black cigarette rests between her fingers, lit and burning toward her knuckles. She has been thinking of building a new cabin, not a replacement for this one, but a second one, at the northernmost end of the valley, so that she has a place to rest her feet during her long walks. The valley stretches for miles, and she often is too worn out from the journey to make it back to this home.
A dash of cigarette ash falls onto her burlap pants and she brushes it away.
She can see her shadow approaching across the field, the low afternoon mist parting around it. It moves stealthily, as if it is playing a game with her, but the keeper is never fooled. The shadow moves closer and closer until it slips on the porch and reattaches itself to her feet.
"You're back," the keeper says. "What did you find?"
Her shadow does not speak, but she can feel its memories pass into her, icy cold. She takes them into herself, absorbing them into her own collection of thoughts. She reviews them quietly, eyes closed, and nods to herself. She sees the gash in the treelike from the shadow's vantage point, as if a wrecking ball has dropped into the middle of her forest. She sees the lumbering clouds, the rich wet soil. She sees everything her shadow saw, and—
The shadow found the intruder.