Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a love story of the unlikely sort, which begins when the title characters begrudgingly share a seat on the school bus. As everyone who has ridden a school bus knows, random seat choices quickly become permanent assignments, so Eleanor and Park sit together every day from then on out.
Despite their outward irritation about this arrangement, the two can’t help but notice each other. One day, Park points to Eleanor’s notebook, where she has written, “How Soon is Now?” It is 1986, and Park is a devoted fan of the alternative rock band, The Smiths. So he assumes her scribbled question refers to one of their most popular songs of that title. It does not. When Park remedies the situation by playing How Soon is Now? for Eleanor, she falls in love with its haunting tune and melancholy lyrics that speak to her own heart. This turns out to be the beginning of a splendid musical courtship.
Note: The length of this song has been edited for downloading.
BONUS!! For an excellent and highly authentic playlist to accompany your reading of Eleanor & Park, author and music connoisseur Rainbow Rowell has put together perfect tunes on her blog.
-Diane Colson, currently reading The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider and listening to How the Light Gets In by Louis Penny, narrated by Ralph Cosham