Thirty-some Eleanor Oliphant is just fine, thank you very much. On weekends, the accounts receivable clerk hunkers down in her flat, eating pizza and drinking too much vodka. She avoids human interaction and loathes any departure from her safe routine. Eleanor will go to great lengths to avoid the traumatic childhood she suffered at the hands of her Mummy. During a rare social outing, Eleanor encounters a charming musician and dreams of a romantic relationship with him, one that would make her Mummy proud. She begins to stalk him at his gigs, on his social media and even on his doorstep. Meanwhile, the awkward guy that works in her company’s IT department, Raymond, keeps inserting himself into her carefully ordered life. Maybe love can be found in unexpected places.
Eleanor shines as a well-developed, complex character much in the same way that Don Tillman, the socially inept and schedule-bound scientist, did in the The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Many who have read these novels speculate that the main characters are on the autism spectrum.
Eleanor Oliphant offers a tale of humor and heart, one that doesn’t shy away from exploring the darker nature of humanity. As this stunning debut from Gail Honeyman proves, sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.