My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This should be my mantra. I need to be reminded of it every day.
Wow. I did not expect to love this book when I first started it.
The reader first joins Eleanor Oliphant through her regular routines – her commute to work, her workday, her route home. The reader is let to believe that Eleanor is eccentric and bordering on spectrum.
She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully time-tabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
Then everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living–and it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Human nature is to judge when a person meets another person for the first time. I admit that I judged Eleanor Oliphant. She is lonely, eccentric, socially awkward, and someone that I might steer away from in a public setting. But keep reading, because as you get to know Eleanor you will slowly change your mind.
Eleanor is complex, funny, and as you learn her background, you realize that she is the testament of the human spirit. She is insightful, practical, kind hearted, and socially awkward. She is fascinated by cultural norms because she knows nothing about them. I loved seeing things from her fresh and different perspective.
As the book progressed, my judgements on Eleanor slipped away and she reminds me not to form assumptions on first impressions. She also reminded me that not everyone has a “normal” life or a safe and secure upbringing, and not to take that for granted.
This book teaches you so many things. Don’t judge a book by its cover. This book is funny, heartwarming, and will have you reflecting on the human spirit long after you finish it. Loved it.
Best book that I’ve read in a long time and I hear that it is being adapted for a movie.