The title character, Eleanor, has numerous personal problems which, the reader learns through the course of the novel, stem from terrible childhood trauma. Eleanor had developed an unrealistic view of love and romance. This perspective influenced her involvement with a boyfriend who abused her—a relationship that she has apparently gotten over. However, she has become highly susceptible to media hype, she becomes infatuated with a pop star and mistakes this celebrity crush for real love.
The satirical aspect of this critique is prominently shown when Eleanor goes to this musician’s concert and realizes he is a total boor. His crude behavior, including flashing the audience, cures Eleanor of her infatuation; unfortunately, the smoke effects at the concert trigger memories of the childhood trauma. In contrast, the idea that friendship is the best basis for affection which might at a later point turn into love is offered through her relationship with a colleague called Raymond, which begins through their mutual concern for another person.