underlined: eleanor opliphant is completely fine


Reading a book without a pen in hand feels naked, wrong, and unbearable. To feel whole, I have pens lying around all over my apartment so that I can underline sentences that grab my attention.

These underlines are the reason why I cannot part with my books. They are too precious. They are artifacts of my thoughts and feelings.

However, one needs to be rational and calculate the tradeoff between book occupying space in my apartment vs. its value after read. While I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, it’s time for me to part with it.

To preserve the underlines, I’ve copied them below. The list is short but I can now donate this book without feeling compromised. 

I gave my little teapot another hot rinse, just to be sure, and drifted into pleasurable thoughts, thoughts of him.

Silence sat between us, shivering with misery.

…and the moment to mention the sheet of paper had passed.

The imbalance in the extent of our knowledge of each other was manifestly unfair.

It was one of the innumerable ways in which my old life and my new life differed. Before and after the fire.

I asked why, but none of the PE teachers…could furnish me with an answer.

…he’d simply taken his siblings for granted: an unchanging, unremarkable fact of life, not even worthy of mention.

This was both nothing and everything.

I did not dignify this with a response.

I essayed some chitchat, aware that this was the done thing in the circumstances.

…I was really starting to get the hang of the concept of payment schedule.

Time only blunts the pain of loss. It doesn’t erase it.

I could almost see questions crystallizing, as though letters were emanating from his brain and forming words in the air.

I could feel the unasked questions hovering between us like a ghost.

I would simply have to bear it until we met, and that was the nature of this peculiar, blissful burden.

I couldn’t keep passing through life, over it, under it, around it. I couldn’t go on haunting the world like a wraith. And things did happen that night.

I felt despair and nausea mingled inside me, and then that familiar black, black mood came down fast.

Cringe denotes embarrassment, fleeting shame.

I’m happiest in the background, being left to my own devices.

The moment hung in time like a drop of honey from a spoon, heavy, golden.

I also enjoyed Gail Honeyman’s use of Tweets throughout the book. It was timely and very relevant to the story.

Goodbye Eleanor Oliphant for now and hope that we get to see a part two of the story.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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