A(nother) Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I’m not sure whether to be offended or not.


I was recommended this book by someone (I shan’t mention her name, because she reads the blog, and it’ll annoy her that she doesn’t get a direct name-check) – on the basis that the main character reminded them of me.


In fairness, before I even read it, they clarified it was due to her strong opinions on sausage rolls and little else, still…


Eleanor Oliphant is, contrary to the title, NOT completely fine.


She is, truth be told, a little odd when we first meet her. She stays odd throughout, by the way, but we grow to love her.


We see the world through her eyes, and because the socially awkward things she does makes perfect sense to her, they make perfect sense to us.


We meet her just after she’s been to a concert, something that has happened to her completely by accident, but there she falls in love with the lead singer of the support act.


She decides, despite not having met him, that they are destined to be together, and it’s this that kick-starts her into exploring the modern world and learning how to live in it.


It’s through this exploration that we begin to learn more about Eleanor, but Eleanor also becomes more exposed to how the world works.


It seems like a really simple story, quite basic, but it’s the character of Eleanor that makes this an un-put downable, page-turning novel. It’s not about whether she meets Johnny and makes him fall in love with her, it’s about Eleanor falling in love with herself.


There are a huge number of laugh out loud moments, but there are some equally sad moments too, which is what sets this apart from other novels.


It’s the type of novel that I could recommend to anyone, there is no set genre, but the one novel I’m reminded most of is Elizabeth Is Missing not, I think, because of the content, but because of the feeling I was left with at the end.


Definitely one of the better reads of 2017


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