Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine got on my TBR list from theSkimm. And, fun fact, when I hid a Target gift card to pay it forward during #selfcareseptember, I chose a copy of this book on the Skimm display. I had to wait awhile to get a hold from the library, and now don’t recall theSkimm’s description exactly, but expected a breezy chick lit read with a quirky but lovable heroine.
This was not particularly right.
It’s obvious very quickly that Miss Oliphant is not a lovable heroine. She is prickly and very literal. And this this:
I wasn’t sure if I felt more sorry for Eleanor or for myself – because she would clearly find me boring and/or insufferable. Or at the very least a sybarite. Which I totally had to look up – among other words she used. Which I’m sure she wouldn’t approve of, either.
It’s pretty obvious that something caused Eleanor’s disinterest in the world around her. Hints and insinuations are sprinkled throughout the text like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs. Once I adjusted to Eleanor’s misanthropy and stilted speech, I began to appreciate her more – and the fun author Gail Honeyman must have had bringing her to life.
And, as the book develops, Eleanor does come to life. Not to give too much away, but this bit echoed very deeply in my own slightly Grinch-like soul who once upon a time shunned anything that needed nurturing – pets, plants, or romantic partners.
Books that make you think and feel are the best books. Even if you’re expecting something else. Perhaps most when you’re expecting something else.
***Potential Spoiler Alert***
Editing this post because I can’t stop thinking about the unexpected similarities to another recent read, Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land… which, coincidentally, I believe was another Skimm suggestion. Much like comparing and contrasting how two different books discussed alternate realities, it was interesting to see a different take on the same themes of questionable mothers and how much we are our mothers. What does motherhood even mean? How much are mothers expected to give up for their children?Does anyone have a mother who fits that Ozzie & Harriet/Leave it to Beaver ideal? And if they do, do they appreciate it? Found families are often the best. Found children and their emotional baggage, however…….