Eleanor Oliphant eschews interaction with strangers and acquaintances alike, ignores her co-workers’ snide comments, listens to her mother’s berating voice on the phone, and retreats to her apartment each weekend to drink a solitary box of vodka. Her life is simple, dependable, and completely devoid of any intrusive or well-meaning questions.
One day, Eleanor and her co-worker Raymond witness an old man collapse in the street. After calling for medical attention and visiting him in the hospital, it almost seems as though she and Raymond are becoming… friends. And while Eleanor insists that she doesn’t need anyone new in her life, she finds herself going along with his invitations to spend time together. But as she slowly begins to let Raymond in, the small cracks in her well-constructed life begin to show.
“No one’s been in my flat this year apart from service professionals; I’ve not voluntarily invited another human being across the threshold, except to read the meter. You’d think that would be impossible, wouldn’t you? It’s true, though. I do exist, don’t I? It often feels as if I’m not here, that I’m a figment of my own imagination. There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I’d lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock.”
Gail Honeyman is the author of the novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. She lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
Length: 327 pages
Set in: Glasgow, Scotland
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