Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.
E.L. Farris’ I RUN is an emotional journey as one woman tries to outrun her personal demons from the past and raise a family.
As far as characterization, we have good character development. Sally is our main character and she’s married and a mother to three children. She’s been struggling since the accident and it’s easy to like her. There’s some personal trauma that she’s been trying to remember and yet can’t. Then we have her husband William who at times comes off as passive and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around him and what he thinks of Sally. We have a variety of secondary characters who play a vital role including Sally’s mother who is a first grade bitch. Then we have Sally’s friend Beth who has cancer and is always there to listen to Sally.
Narration is first person and it makes sense since this is Sally’s story and journey. She’s a trustworthy narrator and your heart will break for both little and adult Sally. At times, I wanted to shake her to say that she’s doing more harm than good, but I then realized Sally needed to do things the wrong way in order to get on track. Her personal worries will become your own and it’s easy to identify with her frustrations. How many times have we questioned friendships and what people think of us? Sally is broken, there’s no question about it and she has chosen running as way to escape. We see her struggle trying to get back into running after her accident to her obsession with running more and more miles. It’s easy to criticize what she’s doing, but when everything comes together regarding her past, the running makes sense. If I can make one note, it’s that sometimes it was difficult to distinguish adult Sally from Little Sally, but it does become apparent as you read a scene.
If I could use one word to describe Farris’ I RUN it would be: wow. It’s heartbreaking and painful at times to read, but nevertheless it’s engrossing. Farris has a unique ability to make you reflect about your own life as well as the scenes you’ve just read. Overall, you can’t help but feel sorry for both little and adult Sally. You’ll cheer, cry, and agonize with them and the decisions they make. If you walk away with anything after reading Farris’ I RUN is that you probably know a Sally and they are looking for someone to offer them support. In I Run, Sally’s support doesn’t come directly from the people you think should be there to help her, but instead she struggles with her own painful memories with the help of a therapist. I can only hope that William realizes how awesome Sally is.
If you’re looking for a book where the heroine overcomes her past and is able to recognize what love means, then E.L. Farris’s I RUN is your book. Please note: there are references to abuse and if you’re sensitive to that subject matter this may not be the book for you. Read a few reviews and if you can download a sample before reading.