great book about the experience of loneliness.
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. The threads tighten slightly from Monday to Friday.
Eleanor Oliphant is a socially awkward and lonely woman, surviving off vodka and weekly phone calls with her Mom. She is not sick. She is not “on the spectrum.” She is just very, very lonely. Eleanor typically goes from Friday to Monday without speaking to another human. She uses copious amounts of vodka to make herself fall asleep every night. This is perhaps the first book I’ve read entirely focused on the experience of loneliness. There are so many books about mental illness, but so few books about real, feel-it-in-your-bones loneliness. In Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman has given us a great one. Jenny Colgan, writing for the Guardian, says it best: “This is a narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness. It makes you want to throw a party and invite everyone you know and give them a hug, even that person at work everyone thinks is a bit weird.”