Bells for Eli
First cousins Ellison Winfield and Adeline Green are meant to grow up happily and innocently across the street from one another amid the supposed wholesome values of small-town Green Branch, South Carolina, in the 1960s and 70s. But Eli's tragic accident changes the trajectory of their lives and of those connected to them. Shunned and even tortured by his peers for his disfigurement and frailty, Eli struggles for acceptance in childhood as Delia passionately defends him. Delia's narrative voice presents Eli as a confident young man in adolescence, but underneath he hides indelible wounds harboring pain and insecurity, scars that rule his impulses. And while Eli cherishes Delia and attempts to protect her from her own troubles, he cares not for protecting himself. In this compelling coming of age story, culture, family, friends, bullies, and lovers propel two young people to unite to guard each other in a world where love, hope, and connectedness ultimately triumph.
I listened to the audio version of this book. Author, Susan Beckham Zurenda narrates the audio version. She does a great job. Her voice is one that is made for audio. It is clear, animated, and because Susan is the author, she is familiar with her characters. Thus she really made them come alive.
The relationship between Eli and Adeline is so lovely. Family bond is the strongest bond. Eli and Adeline showed it in this story. Eli could have come off as depressing due to the tragic event that he went through when he was little but he had a happy deposition. A lot of this was due to Adeline. She never treated him like he had a disability.
Bells for Eli is a heartwarming story that will tug at your heartstrings long after the last page has been turned!