Downtown, Sep 2003,
12.00, 306 pp.
Twenty-five year old Indiana expatriate Junie struggles with what she wants out of life. Though she has met her teen dream by living with drummer Leon in the hip Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, Junie wonders if that is all there is? Adding to her introspection is her encounter with science fiction author Eliot at a vet. He is twice her age and hundred times more dissatisfied in life than her with his last success almost as old as Junie is.
While Leon dreams of leaving the Big Apple gig behind, Junie feels for Elliot, who sees her as his latest girl toy. However, Eliot's cat Alfie, who inadvertently was a partial matchmaker, realizes that he must protect her. Frustrated by his feline limitations, Alfie struggles to show Junie what life is all about. Will Junie heed the warnings of a cat while confronting her parents on what happened almost two decades ago to her deceased brother that messed her up emotionally or will she remain unsatisfied but not know why?
Title multiple meanings aside, ELIOT'S BANANA is a deep chick lit tale starring a lead female protagonist whom many readers will feel an affinity for regardless of age. The story line is cleverly devised to insure the audience can commiserate with Junie. Heather Swain brings this to the forefront through a strong support cast relating on several levels with Junie especially the three New York males and her Indiana family. Readers who appreciate a powerful character study will want to savor the fruits of this tasteful tale, one of the sub-genre's best of the year.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner