If the book “Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine” was written by an Irish author, it would be called “Eleanor Oliphant is grand”. This is what Irish people say for everything even if you have suitcases under your eyes, have forgotten to take your pyjamas off when at the park and left the kids in the car seats while you sit in the park. Now I know it sounds funny, but I for one have been at the park and seen mothers like this, including myself and they pretend life is “grand”.
I think as a mother, there is the pressure on you to be super mam and look glamorous all the time. We don’t need to be. People need to be honest. Well, I am anyway. Its bloody tough been mam, dad, doctor, teacher, therapist, friend, mediator, cook and so on. So, why am I talking about this, you might ask? Well…
I haven’t read a book in about five years simply as I don’t get time. But I remember going to a literary event, I love the “Mountains to Sea” book festival in Dun Laoghaire and sat in the audience where Gail Honeyman was being interviewed. Very genuine lady and her first novel “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” sold thousands of copies. My friend had it, I borrowed it and read it in two days.
Its not everyone’s cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Both sad and uplifting, its hard to put it down and you end up cheering Eleanor along in her devastating journey. It’s a story of loneliness, hardship, isolation and in the end kindness. A woman who is so out of tune with living a normal life. And you know, sometimes it’s a simple act of kindness that goes a long way. If people don’t react the way you think they should when you have held the door for them or helped them when they stumbled or let them have your seat on a bus – it could be they are not used to this behaviour and don’t know how to react.
We never know people’s stories, everyone has one. Life can be good to people or bad. Eleanor had an abnormal upbringing by a sadistic mother. All the time Eleanor knew no different so her life was very reclusive and routine. Anyway, without giving too much away, read it and see what you think yourself. I loved it and cried a lot. Maybe its my hormones but it touched a nerve in me, for sure. And we need more Raymonds in the world.
Go on, buy it, borrow it and tell me what you think.