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Eleanor Oliphant > Eleanor - General Discussion

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message 1: by Macy (last edited Jun 04, 2018 02:32PM) (new)

Macy Skipworth (theprofessorlife) | 13 comments Mod
Soooo, I've already talked to a couple of you that have started (see also: finished!) Eleanor!

I can't keep up with you guys! I'm still waiting on my library copy to arrive from Interlibrary Loan, BUT I don't want any discussion to be upheld...so here we go!

I guess we will probably just start one general thread...and anyone can feel free to start a new thread of your own with specific questions, thoughts about characters, whatever you want to discuss! Just make sure to add it to the "Eleanor Oliphant" folder when you start a new thread.

Did you know you can also create polls for the group? Similar to a poll on Insta or Facebook, you can post a question and give different answers and see how everyone responds. Just check the "Polls" tab on the right side of our group -->


What did you think of Eleanor Oliphant?


message 2: by Cassie (new)

Cassie | 4 comments I could NOT put this book down! It is very well written and kept me drawn in the whole time. I got the book last night and already finished it. Eleanor is a fascinating person to get to learn more about throughout the book. I laughed and cried throughout this book. It will keep you on your toes with the few twists and turns that go on throughout this book.

Did anyone else expect what happened at the end? I’m going to leave this vague so it isn’t a spoiler for the people who haven’t finished this book yet.


message 3: by Shelbi (new)

Shelbi Hannsz | 5 comments I just couldn’t put Eleanor down.
Her literal interpretation of commonly used phrases and lack of social awareness made me laugh out loud on several occasions.
Biggest takeaway - how simple acts of kindness and acknowledging the value in humanity can change someone’s life. Even just acknowledging that someone exists: listening, eye contact, physical contact (things that I take for granted) can change the trajectory of someone’s life.
This convicted me about how I treat the “weird person” at my work or church or wherever. Hearing the story told through that person’s perspective was so important to me!
Eleanor was the best but for me Raymond took the biggest W in the story. Being genuinely kind to his coworker with no ulterior motive. So simple but so lacking in the world.


message 4: by Shelbi (new)

Shelbi Hannsz | 5 comments Ok and yes the ending. I wasn’t ready for that!


message 5: by Cassie (new)

Cassie | 4 comments 1. I didn’t realize how many times I said “theoughout this book” 🙄

2. Shelbi, you said it all so beautifully! It was very convicting to think about how I judge people without even knowing them or their circumstances.


message 6: by Tori (new)

Tori | 7 comments I suspected the ending. But my thoughts were a little darker.

I absolutely loved this book! I only just put it down and I just know I’ll be thinking about it for a while.

I am the weirdo, who says the awkward thing. I’m nowhere near as literal. But I can relate to the *odd one out* feeling.
I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 2, I received my first wheelchair when I was 5. I was an elective mute until I was 13. If I’d read this in late high school/early uni I probably could have related to that loneliness.
But I met my computer nerd (he’s an engineer) in 2001. It really hit me right in the heart. How much finding a “pal” can change everything.

I loved the pacing of this book.
I think I’ll need to organise my thoughts before I can write much more!


message 7: by Shelbi (new)

Shelbi Hannsz | 5 comments Tori I love hearing your perspective on this! As extreme as she is, Eleanor is still such a relatable character. I’m sure at some point, everyone has had the feeling of being the “weirdo” and odd man out. But it sounds like there are some ways that you understand her character even more than I would. I’d love to hear more about that!


message 8: by Tori (new)

Tori | 7 comments I can’t remember a lot of my childhood. But I’ve been told stories by my mum. 😂 promise she’s lovely...

So as I said before I’ve had RA since I was 2. I ended up going to seven primary schools (“elementary schools”) because of it.
At my first school the teacher used to lock me in the classroom during sports because it took me too long to cross the oval (sports field). We were living in Darwin (it’s hot there). I was locked in for hours at a time without food, water or access to toilets. Which is how my parents figured it out - I wet my pants- which was not something that happened to me.
My third school was a special school in Adelaide. My parents moved from Darwin so I could get physical therapy and an education. By that time I’d stopped speaking to anyone who wasn’t my family and I was fed via a tube. The school decided (without assessing me) that I wasn’t going to get beyond a primary school education. My parents figured this out when I was in grade 4 and my brother was in grade 2. They asked me to help with his homework but I couldn’t. So they went to the school asking questions. The school told my parents about their expectations, my parents insisted I be assessed. A psychologist was brought in and let’s just say I did okay. I was definitely making in through high school.
The school made the psychologist disappear.
So my parents hired a tutor for Saturday afternoons. I caught up on grades 1,2,3,4,5 over two years. And was mainstreamed in grade 6. There was a incident that caused my parents to pull me out of the special school. I wrote a story that was published in the newsletter for the special school. At the bottom I wrote “I was able to write this thanks to my tutor Julia”. My teacher was furious. Her and the librarian would not let me go to lunch until I promised to write a retraction saying they’d taught me to write. So I sat there for my entire lunch break with two teachers standing over me yelling and all I could repeat was “I can’t lie. That’s not the truth”.
At the next school after a term the teacher requested that her classroom be moved upstairs, effectively expelling me.

We moved to Queensland when I was 12 (six months before I started high school).
It wasn’t until I was 13 that I figured out that I wasn’t stupid. At the start of high school they put me in all the remedial classes because I was in a wheelchair. My teachers fixed that by the next year.
I had my hips replaced when I was 16. By then I just thought. Okay so I’m a little smart. I’ll throw everything into becoming a scientist. I doubt anyone would ever want me.

Three months after my second hip replacement I met my husband. Technically on MSN but we were in the same physics class. Sure I had friends. I always questioned the motives of friends. Assuming that some just wanted to be seen as being nice to the wheelchair kid. Or ride in the lift. He was different. It took me four years to figure out he loved me. We’ve been together for 13 years and married for 8. We’ve got two beautifully happy children. And I watch their school like a hawk.


Wow! What a novel! 😅 that’s the lens I’m viewing this book from!


message 9: by Tori (new)

Tori | 7 comments I can’t remember a lot of my childhood. But I’ve been told stories by my mum. 😂 promise she’s lovely...

So as I said before I’ve had RA since I was 2. I ended up going to seven primary schools (“elementary schools”) because of it.
At my first school the teacher used to lock me in the classroom during sports because it took me too long to cross the oval (sports field). We were living in Darwin (it’s hot there). I was locked in for hours at a time without food, water or access to toilets. Which is how my parents figured it out - I wet my pants- which was not something that happened to me.
My third school was a special school in Adelaide. My parents moved from Darwin so I could get physical therapy and an education. By that time I’d stopped speaking to anyone who wasn’t my family and I was fed via a tube. The school decided (without assessing me) that I wasn’t going to get beyond a primary school education. My parents figured this out when I was in grade 4 and my brother was in grade 2. They asked me to help with his homework but I couldn’t. So they went to the school asking questions. The school told my parents about their expectations, my parents insisted I be assessed. A psychologist was brought in and let’s just say I did okay. I was definitely making in through high school.
The school made the psychologist disappear.
So my parents hired a tutor for Saturday afternoons. I caught up on grades 1,2,3,4,5 over two years. And was mainstreamed in grade 6. There was a incident that caused my parents to pull me out of the special school. I wrote a story that was published in the newsletter for the special school. At the bottom I wrote “I was able to write this thanks to my tutor Julia”. My teacher was furious. Her and the librarian would not let me go to lunch until I promised to write a retraction saying they’d taught me to write. So I sat there for my entire lunch break with two teachers standing over me yelling and all I could repeat was “I can’t lie. That’s not the truth”.
At the next school after a term the teacher requested that her classroom be moved upstairs, effectively expelling me.

We moved to Queensland when I was 12 (six months before I started high school).
It wasn’t until I was 13 that I figured out that I wasn’t stupid. At the start of high school they put me in all the remedial classes because I was in a wheelchair. My teachers fixed that by the next year.
I had my hips replaced when I was 16. By then I just thought. Okay so I’m a little smart. I’ll throw everything into becoming a scientist. I doubt anyone would ever want me.

Three months after my second hip replacement I met my husband. Technically on MSN but we were in the same physics class. Sure I had friends. I always questioned the motives of friends. Assuming that some just wanted to be seen as being nice to the wheelchair kid. Or ride in the lift. He was different. It took me four years to figure out he loved me. We’ve been together for 13 years and married for 8. We’ve got two beautifully happy children. And I watch their school like a hawk.


Wow! What a novel! 😅 that’s the lens I’m viewing this book from!


message 10: by Shelbi (new)

Shelbi Hannsz | 5 comments Ok it sounds like you should be writing your own book! I’m so sorry you’ve had the experiences that you did. Thank you for sharing them!


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura Gilbert | 3 comments I'm only just finished Chapter 2. right now, I feel so much sadness for Eleanor. so awkward and unaware. Reminds me a lot of a cousin who has Aspergers who I worry about.
Also, thanks for sharing Tori. it sounds like you have had a tough go! you sound do incredibly strong!


message 12: by Anna (last edited Jun 06, 2018 07:38PM) (new)

Anna Palm | 4 comments Oh my god, Tori. That's awful! I'm sorry you had to go through that. And I'm glad you found your happy ending.

I just finished the 6th chapter/the Good Days section. It blows my mind how Eleanor thinks, but it makes sense. The author does a fantastic job of conveying Eleanor's logic and her off-sense with people at the same time. As the audience, we can better guess why people react to Eleanor and her behavior than she does and how she mostly misinterprets people's meaning. Her train of thought is so different, but it seems like she had a rough childhood so I won't hold it against her.


message 13: by Tori (new)

Tori | 7 comments I love how confident Eleanor is that she is acting correctly, and that it’s everyone else who is wrong.

I’d love to write a book about my experiences, one day...
Wouldn’t know where to start. But I think about it.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy (amyjay94) | 5 comments This was such an intense and interesting novel but I'm not a big fan of the literary fiction genre so I'm not sure I enjoyed it as much as other people did.

It took me a while to get into the book but I started to appreciate it more when I found out about Eleanor's life and personality. I was really put off by her behaviour towards the musician in the beginning (even though I understand it and her way of thinking now that I've finished the book) and that meant that I couldn't really connect to her for the first half of the book.

I'm glad I persevered though because Eleanor is such a wonderful character and I enjoyed the ending.


message 15: by Macy (new)

Macy Skipworth (theprofessorlife) | 13 comments Mod
Amazing discussion on Eleanor so far! Def can keep continuing this discussion, but make sure to pipe in on the new post in “General Topics” for picking out a new book for July!


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