There is a bit of an Eleanor Oliphant in all of us. Someone who enjoys routine and comfort zone, who’d rather sit tight with a glass of vodka in front of telly than going to a party full of strangers. Someone who stays in a job for far too long despite the fact that she thinks all of her coworkers are complete idiots.
But Eleanor seemed to take it to the extreme. Her life is fine, she has a job that she goes to every Monday to Friday and vodka as a loyal company for the weekend. She has almost no social life, not that she cared about either. For years, she thought life couldn’t be any better. Until she met someone who showed her that there is so much more to life.
I find it really refreshing to read page after page the journey of Eleanor finding herself and how a small kindness can go a long way in helping her in the process. I don’t usually like fiction, but this one is one you can’t miss even if you always feel a bit sceptical about fiction. Eleanor’s character is just so relatable, she’s not that usual undeniably pretty heroine with bright career and great social life you can’t even imagine someone can manage so well. She’s so original. She’s funny but also weird sometimes, she tries to fit in a bit of social life but sometimes too lazy to do so, she enjoys being alone but also sometimes feeling so lonely. She’s just one of us.
This is the first book of Gail Honeyman, but it already makes me see a lot of potential in her to tell a story about unspoken issues like profound loneliness, something all of us once experience but never talk about.
These days, loneliness is the new cancer—a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.