Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine won the 2018 Costa Debut Novel Award and I can easily see why. This book was all over my instagram with so many people I follow raving about how good a book it was. Not one to miss out, I decided to give the book a read. Brilliant and oh so thought provoking.
Eleanor is not the character she first seems, or rather as she starts to become more sociable and outgoing you begin to understand why she is the way she is. The subsequent therapy appointments she attends, definitely is reminiscant of ones I have had in the passed. It takes almost the full hour to gain traction, only for your allotted time to be up. Setting you back another minute. The comment on how Eleanor could go from 6pm on a Friday till first thing on a Monday, without speaking to anyone is something I have experienced. It’s not pleasant.
‘… loneliness is hallmarked by an intense desire to bring the experience to a close; something which cannot be achieved by sheer willpower or by simply getting out more, but only by developing intimate connections. This is far easier said than done, especially for people whose loneliness arises from a state of loss or exile or prejudice, who have reason to fear or mistrust as well as long for the society of others. ‘… the lonelier a person gets, the less adept they become at navigating social currents. Loneliness grows around them, like mould or fur, a prophylactic that inhibits contact, no matter how badly contact is desired. Loneliness is accretive, extending and perpetuating itself. Once it becomes impacted, it is by no means easy to dislodge.’
Eleanor always thought she was right, and dismayed with how general society operated. Yet society would deem her as the weird one. Some of these did make me giggle, such as bo-ho chic in so many cafes, which often can look dirty!
It was only when a friend posted a bedside cabinet picture with the book, having finished it that I fully understood the significance of the cover. One disadvantage of reading on a kindle, you don’t see the kindle. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is definitely a book I would recommend.