Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
A stunning debut. 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?
I knew as soon as I began reading this book that I was going to enjoy it. Narrated by Eleanor the words just flew off the page as if I was listening to someone right there in the room telling them to me. I loved going on this voyage of discovery with Eleanor, about who she is and is becoming.
Eleanor has built a life and a routine which begins to be broken down - eradicated, until unfortunately she doesn't know who she is anymore. One simple action and it begins to unfold so many avenues for Eleanor. For every laugh there was a moment of sorrow and for that you need to be prepared.
At first I thought Eleanor was much older than her 30 years, she has such mannerisms and ways which belie her youth. She certainly speaks as she finds, meaning no malice, but simply the truth as she sees it. Reminding me of someone on the Asperger's spectrum. If she needs help she just goes to who logically can provide it, putting herself completely in their hands, such as the ladies at the department store and their choice of new clothing for newly acquired social life. Many a time I gasped out loud at some of her nuances and turn of phrase, so entertaining and laugh out loud funny.
I did begin to guess some of Eleanor's past but only towards the end of the book. as she begins to reveal more of true self. I like the way the book ended, just a couple of loose ends. It is rare to read a book in which the voice is so completely of a character that I forgot I was reading a novel, but the author achieved just that for me.
I wonder if we will see more of Eleanor? I do hope so as I would love to catch up with her again some time.
I've thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am giving it 5 out of 5 stars. My thanks to Netgalley for a copy to review.