I saved this book from Christmas until my holiday at the end of February because when I read the first page I knew it would be good. I read it for the entirety of the four-hour flight and woke up early each morning to walk into the town to have a coffee and read in peace. It’s a book about feeling happy and sad, human kindness, hopefulness and loneliness.
I’ve seen this book on the top of bestseller lists and all over Instagram. Besides the very photogenic front cover, I didn’t know anything about it; I thought I had an idea of what it might be about from the blurb, but you really can’t predict how unique Eleanor is and I think that’s a huge part of the appeal.
I also think what’s made it so popular is the fact that the narrator is so relatable and funny to the point the reader grows really fond of her. This is particularly clever considering the events she goes through are extremely un-relatable. But the feelings she describes, despite being about a series of particular events that very few readers are likely to have experienced, are universal.
After the first chapter, when the book had already surprised me (the review on the cover is spot on, it is unpredictable) I knew I would be really invested in the character. She’s a person who might be considered an outsider, but she shows up the other characters who can’t understand her – you can sense the author’s encouragement to make the reader consider how they treat others. What grabbled me was the end of the blurb that says it’s about the very best and very worst that humans are capable of and this book really does demonstrate that.
I haven’t started another book yet because it’s one that has really stayed in my mind and I really didn’t want the book to end – I wanted to hear more about where the character goes next.
I’d recommend this to anyone who wants a book with a bit of substance but without having to read anything too heavy and if you like books where you care about the characters.