These days loneliness is the new cancer- a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.
Author– Gail Honeyman
Genre– Mental Health/Fiction
Publisher– Harper Collins
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. According to her perceptions and opinion she is completely normal. She has a set routine. She has everything planned out, even her lunch and dinner is same everyday. On weekends she drinks vodka but to the limit where she is neither drunk nor sober. She lives alone and she has no visitors. She lacks social interactions. She has no friends or family apart from her Mummy whom she talks to every Wednesday for ten minutes. Is this sounds completely normal to you?
But soon everything changes in Eleanor’s life. An act of kindness takes her to the world of normal people, who are also not as normal as they perceive it. Eleanor when saves the life of an old man Sammy with the help of Raymond, her colleague, everything changes. She goes to party, funeral, cleans her home and most importantly faces her past.
When I read the blurb I thought it would be another sad girl story in which a happy go lucky guy rescues her from the sadness and they live happily after. But oh Boy! I was so so so wrong.
When you first start reading this book you can’t help but feel so sad about Eleanor. Her loneliness will help you realize that we take our family and friends so much for granted. Her emotions are so raw, innocent and vulnerable that it will just stay with you. Her loneliness will make you realize what it means to be actually alone in this world.
Eleanor is like a baby who does not know what to do when you are at a party, who knows nothing about make up and half of the time does not even understand the current generation’s language. This all makes the story so unique and kind of realistic. You don’t relate to it but for the first time you see all these situations from a different light which is just incredible.
Finally there is a book which actually describes depression at its best. I won’t say this is The Definition but this is what it is from the mind of a person who is actually suffering from it.
Some things are just so bang on described in the way we all know but never want to accept it. First we judge people and then we criticize them about judging us. Second loneliness is the new cancer which people don’t want to talk about fearing that even saying it aloud will get them infected.
This book will help you to look at things from a different perspective. We have always been on the normal side of the people but what happens on the other side. This book will take you to the world of Eleanor who is witty, smart, funny and above all brave and courageous in her own unique way. This will make you realize how some things are not just what it seems but at times they carry a deeper meaning.
I can’t believe this is the debut novel of Gail Honeyman. Can’t wait to read more of her books.
“In the end, what matters is this : I survived“
Join Eleanor in this journey of finding herself with the help of vodka, crosswords and a not so handsome colleague. You will laugh, you will cry, you will get angry but most importantly it will make you more empathetic towards fellow human beings.