Tag Archives: neurodiversity

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. By Gail Honeyman.

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

An enjoyable read with a narrative that speeds along nicely. What the author has captured well is the different perspective neurodiverse people can bring and there were some absolute gems that caused me to laugh out loud. The bit about school sports is particularly good. 

I did get angry as well, on Eleanor’s behalf. Her mum was clearly very mentally ill but nobody knew or helped, or intervened to protect the children. The support Eleanor herself received was very poor. Of course she was going to have mental health issues and struggle with her life, but they left her pretty much alone to deal with it. The letters from the foster carers are heartbreaking, with all their talk of ‘discipline’. It is bad that they weren’t allowed to know her history but at the same time, surely if you foster or adopt you are primed for the child having been through some kind of trauma. Seriously, if you foster a child and they have a major aversion to cleaning or setting the fire wouldn’t you think that just maybe it was a trauma trigger for them?

The one bit that didn’t quite convince me was the attitude of her colleagues. I can understand that they might leave her out due to not understanding her but the level of nastiness was more akin to school rather than grown adults. I don’t know, maybe I have just been surrounded by nice people for so long! I’m sure if she worked at my place of work she would not be treated like that.

In the Beginning

I started this blog in a rush of hyperfocus in January 2021, on the basis of a thought process that went something like this… “I am sick of wasting time on TV series that go on and on and social media that sucks me in to pointlessness and arguments. I am going to reduce those elements in my life, and re-introduce the things that always used to make me happy and keep me sane namely, reading, writing, listening to music, and discussing them with friends.”

I have found as I got older that my friends and I dispersed to all corners of the country, and I don’t have time to go out and make new ones. So this blog is a way of trying to get that connection back. I will invite those people I already know, who I discuss books with in real life, but I am also hoping to make new friends and to open myself up to new things to try. So please do stop by, feel free to agree or disagree with my reviews, and please do recommend anything you think I’ll enjoy.

Neurodiversity is a theme that will crop up regularly. Having recently been diagnosed with ADHD (and referred for assessment for OCD) , I finally have a framework, and some sort of explanation, for the craziness of my mind, for my innate weirdness, and for that feeling I have always had of being not quite like everyone else, of bustling through life without ever feeling I was really being me.

Thank you for reading this far. I hope you enjoy my posts. Take care and happy reading!