“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.” Eleanor Oliphant.
I recently wrote that I had joined Dawn O’Porters Instagram Book Club and that the first book on our list was ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’. Well… I finished it and my goodness was it a great read.
I’m not in any way shape or form a professional book critic/ reviewer blah blah blah, but I can at least share my thoughts from a book-lovers perspective.
I know that for the most part, books are considered abstract in that the reader takes from it what they want. For me, the central theme, and the most important aspect was loneliness and how to firstly, survive it and secondly, overcome it.
I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who might read it, but in all the books I’ve read over the years, I’ve never before encountered a character quite like Eleanor. She was the the quintessential modern day heroine, who had to overcome almost so many obstacles to find herself and ultimately save herself. She was brilliant.
It’s based in Glasgow, which is where I’m from so it was nice being able to identify with what the writer was trying to convey with words about the places, the people and the accent. Without giving away too much, it was really funny hearing in my head the thick Glaswegian accent and colloquial slang Eleanor’s mum spoke on the phone to her at one point. I actually laughed out loud at that part.
I don’t know about other people, but when I find myself lost in the fictitious literary world, I often feel disappointed at having to return to real life. That for me, is the measure of a good book, and this did not disappoint.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve read it and what you thought.