This book stays at the top of Top Read This Week, receives impressive scores and thousands of rave reviews during the time it was in my book’s wish list. One of the reasons why I keep lingering over purchasing it is because it did not seem right for me at the moment, given the fact that it tells the story of being alone and loneliness at the same time, which I already experienced more or less currently and apparently don’t need more of those in my life. However, I still purchased it while looking for some bargains at the city bookstore on the “Crazy Day”, noticing that it was the last copy with a nearly- 50% discount price tag on the cover. I felt lucky at the moment, then after few seconds realized that I will sooner or later need to start reading it eventually.
The brief summary on the back of the book is quite helpful in this case, since it is able to give readers a general view of the main character – Eleanor and yet leave all important details unrevealed. At the beginning, I just found Eleanor so weird and annoyed, and to be honest, I still have that perspective after finishing the book. She has a normal life, yes, a can’t-be-more-normal-that-it-is-actually-boring life to be exact. I know already from the beginning that she merely existed, not having a life at all. Until she met Raymond. He basically changed her life once and for all, with his kindness and willing to help people in need, even sometimes they don’t aware of that themselves. Being with Raymond, deliberately at first and gradually willing later, Eleanor took her baby steps in being a normal human being and build her very first relationship with people and times after times be amazed at the new world she just stepped in.
The story has no climax or thrilling secret that strike you hard, but it does have a twist at the very end of the book, which at the first time I did not even get it since its appearance is so “normal” that I didn’t pay attention to. It revealed the most important fact that changed my view of the story I have read so far, at the same time explaining all the obscure details that I have been troubled with.
This book is a great one, but it makes me feel annoyed and there are only two reasons possible.
Either I am annoyed with people like Eleanor since she is so weird and doesn’t even have basic normal manner to interact with other people and that she is so wrong to think that she’s the one who does thing right and keep complaining about others while she is no better, or I am annoyed because I am so common in many ways to her.
It is hard to admit the latter one and write it down, but I think I need to since I know I see myself a couple of times in her through the pages and maybe I will be like her some days if I keep being alone like this. I don’t want that happen, of course, and I don’t have a past like hers so there won’t be any Mummy or pieces of memories that I reluctant to remember worsen me day by day. However, I need to acknowledge the state I am being in, and find the solution to make it better.
This book would be suitable for you to be a more sympathy and understanding person when encounter different and weird people like Eleanor, to start wondering the similarity of and difference between being alone and loneliness. And as in my case, it might help you accept yourself as you are and perhaps what you should do about it.
P.s: I found a good article that might help “alone people” like me :”) It’s in Vietnamese though.