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I will admit, this book took a little bit longer to get into than I was hoping. I really had my hopes up for this one, and to be honest was a bit disappointed at first. But I persisted and oh man, was it worth it! I have so much love for Eleanor, both who she was at the beginning of the story and who she ends up being at the end. This one might feel a little slow or uninteresting, but stick with it!
This book goes in my top 10 of all time. I loved Eleanor and I do believe the people that didn't like the book didn't read far enough. I laughed out loud and found my heart breaking for her - for her loneliness. When she would talk to herself out loud to make sure she was really there. When she thanked the woman for making her shiny! So many moments . . .
I was really confused why there was a social worker for a 31 year old woman. Is that a Scottish/UK thing or is it something people have heard of here in the States? Would really appreciate any insight into the whys and wherefores of this.
Maybe it's true, nothing is for everyone. I tried so hard to read this book. Made it over halfway where Eleanor started to become closer to a person. I wanted to know her, really. I couldn't understand how she didn't just adapt and overcome. Maybe if more information was given about her I could get through it better. But it just flopped for me. On to the next read.
When I first started this book all I could think was, "Wow, this woman is awful". As I progressed through the book I was so enamored at the change within Eleanor (without her even realizing) . Reading about the new experiences that opened her up to be a kinder and more gentle person was extremely gratifying. She of course remained the quirky and proper person she was, but with a softer edge and a little more social awareness. I ended this book feeling satisfied and cheerful that through personal connections and mental health counseling she was able to begin leaving her tattered past behind and open herself up to new opportunities. 100% would read this author again and cannot wait for more amazing selections from BOTM.
Funny, heartfelt, quirky, sad, and hopeful. This book was so much fun. The twist at the end really did surprise me. All of Eleanor's different reactions to social situations were so much fun to read; she just grows on you the more you get to know her in the book. I loved it!
I must agree with the other readers - I found this book to be so charming and endearing. As I was reading this book, I kept picturing Eleanor as Amy Farafowler from the Big Bang Theory. I loved her quirkiness and her perspective on others' "odd" social interactions - And I found some of them insightful, as there are many things we perceive as socially acceptable that are quite odd. (The scene where Eleanor wheres her cotton glove to meet Sammy's family had me in tears). The author did a really good job describing and discussing depression. I appreciated that she cast light on such an important topic while also examining it with light humor. I do believe we need to do more to address and openly discuss depression (and mental illness in general) and the author managed to do it very well. Also, I laughed out loud at the exchanges between Eleanor and her therapist. What I loved most about this book was the relationship between Eleanor and Raymond. At the end, I felt that the author was hinting at a relationship between the two of them but I appreciated how it was left undecided. Raymond was such a true, dear friend to Eleanor and I feel that such a relationship is even more important than a romantic one. One piece that felt underdeveloped was the imagined relationship between Eleanor and her mother. That revelation was quite surprising to me, but the author just sort of put it out there and moved on. I would have liked a little more discussion surrounding Eleanor's beliefs that her mother was still alive. The holidays can be a stressful time and I found this book to be quite refreshing. It was definitely a book that I savored and tried to take my time to get through reading. Some of the last few BOTMs I have read have been a bit on the "heavy" side, and I appreciated the humorous, heartwarming nature of this book.
Love love love.
This book was perfect. Eleanor is a lovely character, compelling and weird and wonderful. I loved how, depending on the situation, she could be uptight and cold or completely relaxed and lovely, what it said about her character, and how attached you truly get to her. The mystery isn't really a mystery; it's pretty clear what Eleanor's repressing, but once it all comes to a head it's hard to stop reading because you just want Eleanor to truly be ok. And that last, last twist was so stunning that I thought I misread it. I remember listening to someone talk once about dealing with addiction/compulsion, and how he learned that life always takes you back, once you're willing to try. This novel is an embodiment of that idea, and it's just perfect. Oh, and I loved the literary allusions, they were subtle but really evocative.
Hi folks-- I confirmed my book on December 3rd and USPS says the book is in Illinois en route (where tracking says it has been for three days; I'm located in FL). I've never had a significant delay from BOTM and I reached out to them a week ago and haven't heard zip. Anyone else experiencing delays or white noise from BOTM??
This is not the kind of book I would normally read. It's not the genre or feel I generally go for. (Especially because every single one of the December BOTM choices sounded so good that I got extras.) But something told me to give EOICF a chance and I am SO glad I did. I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. It was funny, sad, beautiful, and relatable. Eleanor is probably one of my favorite book characters despite her quirks and off-putting manner, and this book might have been the best book I've read this year.
SPOILERS ahead: I chuckled at parts, I cried when she got the cat and found a reason to live, and I gasped when it was revealed her mother had been dead the entire time. Parts of this book were written slightly like a thriller - I found it obvious that Eleanor had a younger sister who died in a fire and that her mother was abusing them early on, but I think the author actually meant to make that sort of obvious so you would be less likely to realize the true twist, which was that "Mummy" was in Eleanor's head for years and years after her death.
I really enjoyed that they left Raymond and Eleanor's relationship open-ended. There was a possibility of romance but you could also view the ending of them simply being very good friends. I think it would have felt rushed and a bit strange if the author had them kiss or something at the end because that's not how either of the characters operate.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that I ended up loving this book so much. Highly recommend.