A LITTLE BIT RUINED: a sequel to Eleanor Rushing


Edition: Hardcover
Sale price$25.00


Published by: Shoemaker & Hoard, 2007

Language: English

Hardcover: 248 pages

ISBN: 978-1-59376-145-5

Dimensions: 6.36 x 0.62 x 8.54 inches

It's been seven years, and Eleanor Rushing is still waiting for Maxim Walters, the love of her life, to leave his wife and move into her rambling mansion on St. Charles Avenue. But when she meets Dr. Richard Kimball—tall, dark, handsome, and a plastic surgeon—her life takes on a whole new direction. Smitten, she decides to go under his knife to alter her looks, and her life. But the summer of 2005 has other plans in store and Hurricane Katrina interrupts Eleanor's transformation.


Patty Friedmann is known for her darkly humorous literary fiction. Among her dozen novels are award-winning Secondhand Smoke, An Organized Panic, Odds, Side Effects, and of course Eleanor Rushing. Her short story collection is Where Do They All Come From? After Hurricane Katrina she published two YA novels, Taken Away and No Takebacks, and her first book was a humor book, the bestselling Too Smart to Be Rich. She has had essays and reviews in such places as Publishers Weekly and Newsweek.


From Publishers Weekly

In this uneven sequel to Eleanor Rushing (1995), Eleanor is as entertaining as ever—her delusions about the intentions of her friends and acquaintances are painful and endearing—but is perhaps the wrong narrator to drop into post-Katrina New Orleans. Born and bred in the Crescent City, Eleanor is still waiting to be united with the married Maxim Walters and clinging to the belief that her parents died in a plane crash (and not in the car crash that left her face scarred), but she soon abandons her devotion to Maxim to pursue physical perfection ("z-plasty" on her face, breast augmentation, a fateful and ill-considered liposuction) and the sexy plastic surgeon, Dr. Ricky Kimball, whom she meets at a fund-raiser. Their love affair, however, lacks the intensity of her earlier, deranged one-sided fixation on Maxim. When Hurricane Katrina hits, the novel arrives at its emotional core: Eleanor is intent on riding out the storm, but she and a few other holdouts (including her housekeeper and confidant, Naomi) are forced to evacuate as the city floods. Eleanor's bittersweet homecoming lacks resonance, and though she is undeniably damaged, her self-inflicted ruin isn't the right metaphor for a demolished city. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This sequel to Eleanor Rushing (2000) finds our eponymous heroine once again deluded by her fixation on a man, in this case the unfortunately named Dr. Richard Kimball, a shady plastic surgeon. After undergoing a disastrous breast-implant operation (she wakes up during surgery), Eleanor refuses to listen to the advice of her friends, including her longtime black housekeeper, the hilarious Naomi. Instead, she schedules even more extensive cosmetic surgery, but her elaborate plans are deterred by the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. Nothing can persuade her to leave her beloved New Orleans, although she insists on moving into Naomi's crowded rental house to ride out the storm, and the two eventually decamp to Houston as the floodwaters rise. Although the novel's opening scenes are slow and somewhat fragmented in tone, the author hits her stride as her pampered, endearing, pain-in-the-butt heroine is forced to deal with overwhelming circumstances. Eleanor's loopy conversations with Naomi are the comic highlight of a novel that is also bittersweet in its depiction of the damaged Eleanor and her wrecked hometown. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"A dazzling novel, capturing that complex mix of lightness and darkness that is New Orleans." -- Robert Olen Butler

"Eleanor's voice--she says exactly what's on her mind--will linger in the reader's memory long after the last page. And that last page is unforgettable!"

"Expertly, gracefully, Patty Friedmann overlays topographies of loss and desire, reality and delusion, making fiction as strange--and as sad and funny--as truth." -- Kathryn Harrison

"Friedmann writes with a sensitivity that can touch the heart without falling prey to the sentimental."

"Intriguing and touching . . . One finishes ÝEleanor Rushing¨ impressed by Friedmann's compassion for human frailty."

Praise for Eleanor Rushing:


A dazzling novel, capturing that complex mix of lightness and darkness that is New Orleans.

                   Robert Olen Butler


Friedmann writes with a sensitivity that can touch the heart without falling prey to the sentimental.

                  Kirkus Reviews

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