- Advertisement -
“Sometimes you simply needed someone kind to sit with you while you dealt with things.” // Gail Honeyman.
Eleanor Oliphant lives a timetabled life, bereft of any major human contact. It’s dotted with frozen pizza, vodka and some uncomfortable phone calls with her mother. It’s not the life everyone would read about and call it ‘that’s the dream.’ But to Eleanor, it’s perfect.
She looks down upon most activities humans indulge in as social beings. But one day, she saves an old man from dying, along with her bumbling colleague Raymond. That’s when she lets the subtle warmth of human connections enter into her life. Despite facing painful experiences, Eleanor realizes that sometimes it’s not so bad to let your life take control of you and take you places.
Gail Honeyman first came up with the idea of this book when she read an article about loneliness. An interview with a woman in her 20s, in particular. The woman confessed that after leaving work on a Friday night she often wouldn’t talk to anyone until she returned on Monday morning. In an interview with The Guardian, Gail remarked how this could be possible. “I realised there were lots of ways people could end up leading that sort of life through no fault of their own.” The book won the Costa First Novel Award. It will also be adapted into a movie, starring Reese Witherspoon.
READ GAIL HONEYMAN’S INTERVIEW WITH THE GUARDIAN HERE.
For anyone who has a hard time dealing with the futile requirements of a strenuous social life, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman acts as a cathartic cry on their behalf. Just like the title, we often believe ourselves to be completely fine when most of the times we aren’t. And with mental health issues coming to the foreground these days, I think more and more people need to read this book and realize how mental health can be so visible, yet conspicuous at the same time.
As Ernest Hemingway has said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, many are strong at the broken places.” You may face a tough time opening your heart out to people. It’s hard to have faith in the goodness still left in the world after it has broken you again and again. But Eleanor’s journey inspires you in the weirdest ways imaginable. It lends you the courage to fix your heart once again. It applauds the choices you make in life which make you who you are. But at the same time reminds you that even in your solitude, you’re not alone.