I love Eleanor Oliphant. She's one of my favourite characters so far this year. Eleanor is introverted, quirky, and probably on the autism spectrum. She loves marguerita pizza and treats herself to vodka once a week so, by the end of chapter three, she had endeared herself to me.
This is one of those books that I had heard so many good things about before I read it, that I was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype. Not only did it live up to it, but it surpassed it by miles. For a debut novel, I am impressed at how much emotion and character development, Gail Honeymoon was able to create. A sign of a good writer to watch.
The story it delivered was not what I was expecting either. My cover has a quote on it by Reese Witherspoon that says it is incredibly funny. I need to disagree here. Yes, Eleanor is such an interesting character. Her social ineptness can be cringe worthy and her internal dialogue is sometimes good for a giggle, but I actually thought this book was sad and a little dark. To get to know Eleanor is to get to know all about her. All of her exterior and interior scars. There was some heavy topics covered in this book and it was done in such a beautiful way.
Eleanor is alone in the world. She has no friends. Mummy calls her every Wednesday night to treat her like crap and she has a mad crush over a musician who doesn't even know she exists. Eleanor believes she is completely fine being alone, but is she? Thank goodness for Raymond, who accepts Eleanor for who she is. He doesn't push and he becomes a true friend. I thought he was adorable and his mother, a delight.
This book is about trauma, mental illness, loneliness, but it's really about friendship and how far human kindness can go to make a difference. I loved the twist at the end. I didn't see it coming which is unusual for me and I love that although Eleanor is not cured and perfect by the last page, there is a sense, that she will be completely fine.
I highly recommend this to everyone!
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛