Book reviews, Literary fiction

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the debut novel from Gail Honeyman. It was one of my recommended new reads for May and book club’s Claire O’Sullivan devoured a preview copy.

Let’s find out what she thought.

Gail Honeyman
Author Gail Honeyman (Pic credit: Penguin Random House)

What’s it all about? 

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

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?

What’s good about it?

This is an outstanding first novel. It is funny, warm, sad and yet full of hope.

I literally could not put this book down. Rarely does a character captivate as Eleanor Oliphant does. Hers is a story of heartbreak and neglect, a life spent trying to fit in.

I laughed out loud throughout at misplaced timings and words, identifying with the awkward social situations and ridiculous demands society can place upon us. This will be an undoubted hit. It is raw and emotional and at the same time joyous, a rare find of a book.

What’s not so good about it?

It ended. I wanted to spend more time with Eleanor Oliphant in her world. This is the world we all live in and yet Eleanor sees things so clearly and differently.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is published by HarperCollins on 18 May.

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