Ellen goes through life hiding and making sure she is always in the shadows. She is 24 years old and tries to never get noticed. She is an observer in life but never really a part of it. If people don’t notice Ellen, they can’t hurt her. Ellen works nights at Costco cleaning just so she has limited contact with other people. She spends her days sleeping and observing her neighbors. Ellen believes she is invisible and she likes it that way. She has been mentally and physically abused as a child and is obese which is why she thinks of herself as INVISIBLE ELLEN.
One day on the bus, she meets a blind woman named Temerity. Ellen is so confused that Temerity has actually seen her and acknowledged her by talking with Ellen that she follows Temerity off of the bus. She follows her into an alley where two thugs try to rob her. Ellen, going totally against all that she is, steps up and helps Temerity get away from the thugs. Temerity is very grateful and tells Ellen to call her so she can thank her with dinner. Ellen finds herself stepping out of her comfort zone and decides to call Temerity the next day. Her life is about to change and it will never be the same again. As she gets to know Temerity and slowly accepts her friendship, INVISIBLE ELLEN starts to become very visible.
INVISIBLE ELLEN is so many things. It is funny and sometimes very sad, but it is also a really awesome read. Shari Shattuck’s writing is very descriptive and it made me feel as if I were right there, feeling everything Ellen was going through. Shari does a great job with all the characters and allows the reader to get inside their heads and hearts. I found myself cheering for Ellen and Temerity as well as all the other characters that pull on your heart strings. INVISIBLE ELLEN will inspire hope in all its readers and maybe even get them thinking about changing their situations. I really was hoping to get to know Temerity’s brother, Justice much better but maybe that will happen in the sequel, Emerging Ellen, which I can’t wait to read. I’m excited to read more of Shari Shattuck’s books.