“I suppose one of the reasons we’re all able to continue to exist for our allowed span in this green and blue vale of tears is that there is always, however remote it might seem, the possibility of change.”
Ok, I’m certain I’m one of the last people to have read this one but frankly, it didn’t speak to me as a story I’d enjoy when it came out. When I found it in our local LFL, I decided to give it a shot. Well, give it a shot more than a year later after it stared at me from the shelf for a while. Frankly, I think Eleanor would understand.
This was one of the most clever, relatable stories I’ve ever read. The writing reminded me a lot of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Eleanor is different and she understands that, she doesn’t expect people to understand or relate to her. She doesn’t even try, until she meets Raymond, a co-worker who is infectiously caring. He slowly begins to show her the power of friendship and empathy. We see her blossom as she tries new experiences that were heretofore thought of as things that were inaccessible to her. I really resonated with the up and downs of what that means. Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone always leads to growth but sometimes that growth is painful and the natural instinct is to want to revert to your old self. Eleanor demonstrates that so well.
As a person who struggles with people, I did find Raymond quite pushy at times but I also saw how useful he was in showing Eleanor that not all people would be dismissive of her and her unusual view on the world. I loved her frankness and the fact that her reactions to the world were rooted in truthful operations and not overt unkindness. The investigation of mental illness and recovering from childhood trauma was so well done without being heavy handed. There were also so many beautiful quotes throughout, I struggled to pick the one that resonated with me the most. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What’s the best find you’ve had in a little free library?