‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman

From the blurb:

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life.  She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy.  Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life.  Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself.  Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good.  Change can be bad.  But surely any change is better than… fine?

Published by HarperCollins – 18th May 2017

Every now and then you come across a character that isn’t your average protagonist, that defies convention and those pesky media stereotypes, but you end up falling in love with her anyway.  Meet Eleanor – she lives on her own, works a 9-5, has a phone conversation with Mummy every Wednesday, and drinks two bottles of vodka over the weekend.  She navigates the world in her own unique way, on her own, always on her won.  She doesn’t have friends, she doesn’t gossip with colleagues, she is baffled by most social conventions.

Ultimately she is lonely.  And this is one of the main themes in this brilliant story.  Honeyman makes us question how we would cope without human interaction.  How our lives would be different without conversation, and warmth, and compassion.  How our lives are  sculpted by other people, good or bad.  When Eleanor encounters a fellow colleague, Raymond, her life begins to be sculpted in a new direction.  And as the novel continues, we learn about why Eleanor’s life is so different to others around her.

From the opening of the book, the reader is immediately drawn in to Eleanor’s world, eager to delve the depths of her psyche and discover more about her world.  And Honeyman’s writing is just so good.  She has this way of capturing feelings and situations with words without being overly-flowery.  She is also particularly adept at giving us a good laugh.  There is a scene at the beginning of the book where Eleanor goes to get a bikini wax (because, according to her, this is what all boyfriends will expect), and after it has been done her reaction is priceless “I had come her to start to become a normal woman, and instead she’d made me look like a child.”  And the chuckles ensued…

We laugh at how Eleanor struggles with everyday conversations and situations, but ultimately you can’t help but finish this book with your heart a little battered, and your soul warmed by this intelligent and charming novel.  To use a cliche, this is a must-read novel.

2 Comments

  1. Ashleigh April 15, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    I’ve seen this one EVERYWHERE because of the amount of awards it’s winning. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! All the hype is making me tempted to pick it up myself ahaha!

    • admin
      Author
      April 15, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      This is one where the hype is all totally justified – you need to read it! I’ve recommended it to so many people in my personal life too, just a great book… Lindsi xx

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