Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

By Gail Honeyman

A little hint: this book is well worth reading :)))
This book has been a real buzzer since it came out.
I couldn't wait to get to it! And when I got to it, it quite surprised me.
I expected to be completely smitten with the characters, with the story, with the way it's written, the way it turns out to be one rather than the other... But, no, I was not blown away. I was not captivated to a degree, that you just can't put the book down.
First, I found it quite peculiar. Then it became a little annoying in its melancholy and sadness of the same message being stamped page upon page... And then, somewhere near the middle of the book I quite liked it! No, let me re-phrase it: I loved it!

So, lady and gentlemen, let me introduce you - the weird and wonderful, Miss Eleanor Oliphant!!
Let's be honest, we all know one or more those quite ones, those weird ones. Not the party type, not the social type, living in their own bubble, the ones that you never know what to say to. What's more, some of us actually are ourselves a bit like that!!
Well, I know I can be like that. Having my own routine, my own world, not even touching in passing the rest of the Planet :)))
And that's what I loved the most about this book: it is as much about getting to know and discovering the true world behind someone's closed doors (and here we use the term loosely, because, one can be right there, like an open book, right in front of you, yet we fail to see the message that is being day sent in and day out in movements, in words, in glances; and so they carry on, lonely, strange and laughed upon, oblivious to their image in the minds of others) as about discovering your own true self by uncovering your biggest fears, fighting them and breathing in dizzy air of liberation.
Eleanor Oliphant is 30. She is not particularly pretty or social or fun. She is rather unpopular. She doesn't seem to care about lack of social and personal life. What's to miss? Her routine is perfect! Work, home and a glass of vodka. A weekly chat with her mommy, who is not the warmest parent in the world, but rather the demanding one: you have to be good, you have to be pretty, you should know better, you should have done this and that, would you ever get this... Do you know the type?
Eleanor has a splendid manner of expressing herself, and in her awkward anti social manner of interacting with others, she sees straight to the point, without bothering herself to dance around with pleasantness. She spotlights all the faults and unnecessary rubbish others surround themselves with.
What Eleanor is to discover to her astonishment is that it is actually nice to be nice and it's even nicer when others are nice to you... She is yet to see that a random act of kindness, however big or small it may be, can make you feel so bizarrely wonderful, that you would not care that there is no particular utilitarian meaning to that act.
It is juts just nice to share a lunch, to say and hear kind words, to talk about your feelings. It is so beautifully reassuring to know that other people might (and do!) care where you are and what you are... yes, those cliché, banal little things! The ones that we take for granted when we have them. The ones that are like another planet, another universe when you are deprived of them.
As they say, you are just one person to the whole world, but to one person you can be the whole world.
So what is this book really about? To me it is about learning to be kinder to yourself and to others. And that any heartache, any pain can, if not pass, at least be eased. It is about thru meaning of being brave. Brave ones are the quite ones. True pain is suffered quietly, with no sobs or cries. Alone. It can be noticed so easily. It can overwhelm, overpower, overtake lives.
Yet one hug, one conversation can make a difference.
I loved the way the last quarter of the book unravelled so much. Though I must confess, I found first half rather slow... it is nicely written, but you have to get into the second part of the book really to appreciate all the beauty of the strange and great world of Eleanor Oliphant.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello, hello! Book lovers and Coffee lovers are very welcome! This is a blog where I am writing about books that I have read and share some...