ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE
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BY GAIL HONEYMAN
There are not many new novels that make you cry out loud with laughter and shame at the same time. And Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is certainly a breath of fresh air for book clubbers out there. Gail Honeyman’s debut novel is pacy and funny - a modern day narrative of our time about loneliness and the misunderstood. It doesn’t take long to realise why Eleanor Oliphant is still a book club favourite a year on from publication. It won Costa Book Awards in 2017 and the film rights have already been snapped up by Reese Witherspoon.
At first it appears that Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink at the weekend. Nothing is missing. Except, sometimes everything….
Eleanor Oliphant is eccentric and peculiar and we can be forgiven for laughing at her curious life and commentary which seem at odds with the workplace and the world as we know it. Funny is replaced with a darker and more sinister narrative as the story unravels but we are drawn to the kindness of individuals and her own adventure to find romance.
Our heroine’s story is captivating because we recognise ourselves - whether it be a ritual or everyday habit that we can’t and won’t shake off, a teenage crush beyond our years and moments of isolation and feeling like the outsider.
And as a true slice of life it is relief to find kindness permeate into the pages and meet a hero to make this novel a story of love and hope.
Enjoy. Because not all books will.
- for people who love books -