Hello everybody! The knackered mums met again last night to review Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. We were suitably knackered, but somehow managed to produce some decent book chat.
Eleanor is socially awkward and says exactly what is on her mind. (Which, come to think of it, is basically a description of most toddlers) Because somewhere between being a toddler and adulthood, we learn not to do this, Eleanor is perceived as odd and is a bit of a loner. She thinks that there is nothing wrong with her life until she meets Raymond and begins to have interactions that show her just how lonely she is.
One of the things we discussed was whether Eleanor found social interactions and forming relationships difficult because she was autistic or because of her horrific past. Eleanor was subjected to abuse and went through a severe trauma. She was deprived of any kind of maternal love. Did this severely effect her ability to understand and communicate with others or would she have been like that regardless of her past?
Eleanor is still controlled by her fear of her mother. The conversations she imagines are vicious. Personally I was a little disappointed by the twist at the end. Not because I saw it coming, but because I had already cast Jessica Lange in the role of the ridiculously glamorous psychopath; phone in one hand, 1920s cigarette holder in the other, as she spoke to Eleanor from a secure mental institution. ANYWAY that didn't happen, so I'll get over it.
The only criticism we had is that the end seemed a bit rushed. BUT if it was any longer reading it within the required time might have been a problem...so we shouldn't complain.
We definitely recommend this book. It makes you want to be a bit nicer to people; you never know what someone has gone through/is going through.
If you are feeling lonely...come along to book club!