Josefinas' Book Club: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Photo: Read It Forward

Have you ever felt ostracized, or simply out of place, as if you belong nowhere?

'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' is a book that reminds us of the importance of mental health in an insightful, captivating, and dramatic way. It is through the troubled story of Eleanor Oliphant that the writer Gail Honeyman transports us into the world of such peculiar character.

Loneliness is the central theme, a loneliness that throughout the book we associate with childhood traumas and a striking education, whose marks are visible decades later.

Eleanor is a mysterious 29-year-old woman, with a normal job and no prospects for the future, no inclination to social interactions, and an extravagant personality — a character with whom it is so, so easy to identify ourselves with. Ironic and almost cruel, Eleanor is our company throughout these pages, and the more we devour the book, the better we understand her.

Living a troubled childhood, Eleanor was the victim of deep trauma and abuse that marked her for a lifetime and made her the “bitter” person we know. Her boring and destructive routine, her depression, the bullying in her workplace, the loneliness that haunts her, and her inner sense of uselessness... all these are symptoms of something greater!

Photo: @carolinafgoncalves (via Instagram)

We have all met at least one Eleanor in our lives: the reserved person who never speaks in public, who avoids all social encounters, who does not seem to know how to deal with social interactions, who lives only socially awkward moments. Gail Honeyman portrays all the Eleanors of this world, all those who've suffered great traumas they never knew how to overcome, all those who, for one reason or another, always felt lost and without plans. In the 21st century there was the need for a book that addressed loneliness in such an absolute way. It is true that mental health is a very explored topic, but we believe that few authors have managed to portray this theme as well as Gail Honeyman did.

Addressing issues as sensitive as domestic violence (albeit from a new perspective), depression, poor education, 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' can be a fun book with a very positive message: it's never too late, for anyone.

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