ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.
THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
Don’t read this novel unless you want to run the full gamut of emotions from hilarity to sadness and from shock to anger. I’m not sure what I thought this novel would be about to be honest and early on I even thought it might not be for me, but I’m so glad I didn’t listen to that impatient inner voice and stuck with it after the first chapter.
Eleanor is a character that you’ll never forget and will occupy your thoughts long after you’ve finished this book and moved on to others. Her story is so plausible you’ll almost wonder how many other Eleanors are out in the world and how remarkable they are for navigating the ups and downs of what to some might be mistaken for a humdrum life.
If the measure of a good book is to engage the reader to the point where you actually begin to share the main character’s emotions and actually find yourself wanting to get involved in her story as it unfolds, then this is certainly a good book. Maybe even a great one.
Have you read any other Gail Honeyman novels? Let me know what you think of then in the comments.