Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

The debut novel from Gail Honeyman explores the lonely narrative of Eleanor Oliphant, and trust me when I say you've never met another one like her...

Let's have the blurb, shall we?
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 ace 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 corner she's avoided all her life.

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

The Blonde Bookworm review:

From the opening pages, I felt a connection with Eleanor Oliphant that I hadn't felt with a narrator in a while. Her matter of fact honesty, the routine she had grown to accept in her life, and the aching loneliness that underlies her short, snappy dialogue. You instantly want to protect her, you are striving for her to succeed, and that continues throughout the whole novel.

Eleanor is scarred physically and emotionally by a traumatic event in her past, and had locked away dark memories that she continually alludes to with her strained and confusing relationship with her abusive Mummy. Her daily routine of work, dinner, vodka is interrupted when she becomes friends with workmate Raymond, and from there her life changes beyond recognition.

You feel for Eleanor with every page, and the way she puts things so bluntly tugs at your heart strings more than any eloquent metaphor. When she gets her hair styled and dyed, she goes from feeling matte and dull to feeling 'shiny', and you want to weep with joy. When she describes her depression and need for human touch, you want to wrap her up and tell her it'll all be OK.

She's the heroine we don't see in everyday life, the quiet office receptionist who scuttles around without making a sound. The unassuming man in the coffee shop who's there without fail at 9am everyday. This novel opens your eyes to the lives of others, and the loneliness they can quietly feel whilst the world buzzes around them.

If above all else, this novel makes you feel. It reminds you to be kind, be concerned, and be nice to others. You never know what they're dealing with. A perfect first novel.

Read if you...
Always defend the underdog, love an unlikely friendship, fancy a book with a twist, and maybe a happy cry at the end.


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