Eleanor finds herself in her late 30s on a beach in India with three old ladies, trying to ‘find herself’ and ‘discover her family history’ like some sad middle-class crisis cliché. How did she get here?
Truthfully, it could be for any one of the below reasons, if not all combined:
• Stepmum dying/Stepdad leaving – family falling apart, subsequent psychotic break; both parents now on third marriage
• Breaking up with K after 12 years – breaking up a whole life, a whole fucking universe – for reasons that may have been… misguided?
• New boyfriend moving in immediately, me insisting ‘it’s not a rebound!’ even after everyone has stopped listening, then breaking up with me
• Going into therapy after dating a threatening narcissist (the most pertinent point of which should be noted: I did not break up with him – he ghosted me)
How to address this situation? Take a trip to India with your octogenarian nan and two great aunts of course. The perfect, if somewhat unusual, distraction from Eleanor’s ongoing crisis.
But the trip offers so much more than Eleanor could ever have hoped for.
Through the vivid and worldly older women in her life, she learns what it means to be staunch in the face of true adversity.