We first meet Eleanor Oliphant and immediately realize something is off. I still maintain that there’s some undiagnosed neuro-divergence that contributes to her point of view and the way people view her. Ever so slowly we dig deeper to find out that there’s a history of trauma that also contributes to her unique behaviors and perspective.
Slowly a cast of supporting characters comes along and things in Eleanor’s life start to change. Mostly for the better. A coworker, Raymond, becomes a side-kick in her adventure to take back control of her life from the horrors of her past and help her determine her own future.
I tend to avoid books that delve into family trauma and such weighty subjects; I like my escapist reads. This book, however, was hard to put down. The way the story unfolds and characters develop made the time fly as I disappeared into the world Gail Honeyman created. While not avoiding the traumas and conflicts, there wasn’t a heavy handed dramatic feel to it either. My one complaint is about Mummy. There’s a big reveal at the end that left me gobsmacked and I wished there was more time to sit with it and unpack the new reality.
This is a good individual read as well as a book club read. A lot to discuss in a book that reads fast enough over the weekend or on vacation. I highly recommend this one.