Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled existence. Except, sometimes, everything…
To start with Eleanor reminded me hugely of Bridget Jones, however, she quickly became her own entity.
Eleanor, who is completely alone and always has been that way, for 20 years, since the accident, is perfectly happy with her sad life. However, when she attends a pub gig (totally out of character) she accidentally sets eyes on the perfect man, who she believes can fix her.
The man she sees, a musician, becomes an obsession for Eleanor, her little ‘project’ as she calls him. He keeps her life busy, after all the years of having no one she believes she will finally have someone.
The book is set as Eleanor turns 30, she decides however that she will not be telling her work that it is her birthday so that another one can roll around unnoticed. As I’ve said Eleanor was alone, she had been alone since the ‘accident’ the accident which we learn is something to do with a fire.
There is a theme in the book that is on going until the very last chapters, that Eleanor’s ‘mummy’ is a “bad person, and always has been”, this is certainly true and with the help of her new (and persistent) friend Raymond, whom she worked with, she found out for herself what had really happened all those years ago.
I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll leave it with this, Eleanor’s story is one people can relate to, with you knowing the feeling of people leaving you out because you were different/weird. But it is also one that needs to be read as it will open your eyes to what happens behind closed doors and behind those quirks that people don’t understand.
It’s unusual and unforgettable, funny and original. It deals with mental health of a survivor who tackles with challenges of life, it truly is beautiful.
If you’ve read it let me know what you thought in the comments, you can buy it here if you haven’t!