Reviews

The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr – Frances Maynard

About the Book: Funny, heart-warming and ultimately triumphant, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr by Frances Maynard is the perfect story for anyone who doesn’t quite fit in – and for everyone who chooses not to.

A socially challenged young woman is finally forced to find her place in the world in this breathtaking and moving debut

Elvira Carr believes in crisp schedules, clear guidelines, and taking people at face value. She lives at home with her overbearing mother, who has deemed her unfit to interact with the rest of society.

But when her mother has a stroke, Ellie is suddenly forced to look after herself. She quickly comes up with an ingenious way of coping with the world: the seven social rules spreadsheet.

Unfortunately, Ellie soon discovers that most people don’t live their lives within a set of rules. As she experiences social missteps and awkward encounters, Ellie continues to learn – about herself, and the people around her. And she’ll need this new knowledge if she hopes to pave the way to living life on her own terms

My Review: I’m on a mission to read as many books as possible featuring “quirky” characters and when someone recommended The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira I stuck it right to the top of my toppling TBR and boy am I glad I did.

There seems to be a wonderfully huge and varied selection of quirky books available to read right now including Eleanor Oliphant, 600 Hours of Edward, The Cactus and The Rosie Project so it is quite difficult to review these books without a mention or comparison to one or all of them, but in my opinion Elvira Carr sits proudly at the top of this pile and deserves to be acknowledged as a phenomenal and moving coming-of-age novel.

Elvira (Ellie) Carr is simply the most wonderful and sweet character I’ve met in a long time.  At 27 years old she finds herself living alone after her mother suffers a catastrophic stroke and is taken into a care home.  Having to fend for herself and try to adapt to an often complicated and cruel world, she devices Seven Rules to cope with life and try to fit it with the rest of the world.

Her pure and innocent view on life is refreshingly honest and at times amusing and at several moments of the book I found myself rooting for Ellie from the moment I started the book.  This is a book that was on my mind constantly and I found myself sneaking a quick chapter here and there throughout the weekend.

All the characters were so well developed and plausible that I was visualising them throughout the story.  This really is a wonderful debut with a heart warming message and, personally, I found her rules and life observations thought-provoking and I thoroughly 100% recommend this book and will be implementing her seven rules in my life too!

About the Author:  I teach English part-time to adults with learning difficulties, including Asperger’s.
I’m married with one grown-up daughter and live in Dorset, on the south coast of England. I also spend time in Blackheath, south-east London.
The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr is my first novel. It was runner-up in the Good Housekeeping 2014 First Novel Award and shortlisted for both the 2016 Mslexia First Novel Competition and the Lucy Cavendish Prize.

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