Monday, June 18, 2018

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

genre: contemporary fiction

Eleanor lives a solitary life, which is exactly how she likes it.  She goes to work, she does her job, she goes home.  When you are aware of how ridiculous and disordered the world (and most of the people in it) is, it's better to just be alone.  Her weekly talks with Mummy and her unavoidable interactions at work are nearly too much as it is.

Except then she has to interact with Raymond, who really is not put together at all.   He does, however, have other qualities that make him unbearably endearing, although Eleanor doesn't have the social vocabulary to admit it.  When a random situation throws them together, soon she allows him to be a tiny part of her life, just enough for her to start to see what a different kind of life might look like.

Oh Eleanor.  I have so many FEELS about this book which I listened to and HIGHLY recommend.  There is a lot of language, for those sensitive to that, so there is your warning - but it's been a while before I have met a character in a book that I felt so much tenderness for.  Her highly opinionated observations, her impatience with nonsense and frivolity, her quirky way of looking at things we take for granted, I just could not get enough.  For a story that deals with trauma, addiction, mental illness and loss, it really did make me chuckle out loud so many times.  When I mention that list of issues I know it sounds like TOO MUCH but I'm telling you, it is dealt with so tenderly and sensitively.   I think this is an an important story because of how it treats these issues, how it is a roadmap for the way out of them and how it gives a voice to those who view the world and social relationships in an atypical way.

Thanks to everyone that recommended it.

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