Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But 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.
Eleanor, living a secluded but perfectly fine life decides she’s ready to start introducing a small level of socialization. Hilarity and clarity ensue.
YAY! I read a good book! Isn’t that the best feeling?! I laughed out load SO many times in this book. Eleanor is hilarious! The whole book is from her POV and you’re in her head. She’s not a reliable narrator and it makes her the best one ever. Don’t believe me? Here’s a little excerpt:
“You don’t look like a social worker,” I said. She stared at me but said nothing. Not again! In every walk of life, I encounter people with underdeveloped social skills with alarming frequency. Why is it that client-facing jobs hold such allure for misanthropes?
Oh ya, as a side note – Eleanor is grandiloquent. (Does anyone else remember this word from the S.A.T. Hot Word book? It was my favorite word from the book when I was 17. haha. Grandiloquent: [ɡranˈdiləkwənt] pompous or extravagant in language, style, or manner, especially in a way that is intended to impress).
I really enjoyed this so there’s not a lot I would change. But I wanted more from the ending, I wanted more about the Raymond and Eleanor evolution. I felt a bit gypped on that end.
Eleanor! She was an amazing character. She was so funny without meaning to be. But what I liked most of all was her confidence. Finally a heroine with gumption!!!! I can’t tell you how badly I needed to read a character who wasn’t consistently whining about their lot in life. Thank you Eleanor!
I also enjoyed a little twist at the end, but no spoilers here.
I also loved Raymond’s character – side note – I was definitely picturing Toby from This is Us as Raymond.
I’ve read a lot of reviews saying “this book wrecked me.” I did not shed a single tear in this book or even tear up. That being said there are some heavy parts in this, but Eleanor’s matter of fact personality helped me not become overwhelmed with emotion.
This isn’t required reading but it’s definitely recommended!
Eat: Pesto Pasta
Drink: Hot tea
Winter! Lot’s of mentions of Eleanor putting her jacket on, makes this a particularly cozy type read.
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