Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine


In August last year, I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and knew immediately that I needed to share. Until now, I didn't have a platform to get this across but I think it's the perfect book to launch my reviews section with and I can't wait for it to come out next week so that everyone else can enjoy! Because I want you all to go and buy it, I'm going to try to write a review that gets across quite how much I adored this fabulous book without giving too much away.


I was captivated by Eleanor from the outset. Although at first, I thought I was reading another story along the lines of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Time or The Rosie Project, something about this one was different.

Eleanor Oliphant is a loner, set in her routine. She eats, drinks, wears and does the same things to a strict timetable, lacks basic social skills and struggles to fathom the ways that the other human beings she crosses paths with live their lives.

On the surface, everything about Eleanor's life seems mundane and predictable, if a little odd at times. However, Gail Honeyman gradually reveals little clues to Eleanor's past that suggest all is not 'completely fine'. I had so many questions along the way that just made me keep reading. How did she get her scar? Does she have autism? Why is her estranged mother so wicked and why does she never see her? There are some real dark moments in the story and delicate subjects that are dealt with sensitively and with respect.

Despite the somber undertones of the story line, you can expect Miranda Hart-style laughs and priceless comments from our protagonist. Eleanor's commentary on every day life assesses traditions and trends that we deem to be normal with cutting remarks, although she often says what we're all thinking but would be too polite and compliant to challenge. When something out of her usual regimen happens, it takes Eleanor by complete surprise but makes her a painfully relatable character. The reader experiences many uncomfortable but hilarious firsts with her as she makes a friend, develops a crush, stalks him on social media and goes for her first bikini wax, among other antics.

You will laugh, cry and fall in love with Eleanor Oliphant. This book will take you on an emotional journey but is ultimately so uplifting and inspires a real sense of hope that things can pick up after a harrowing and traumatic start in life.

This has certainly been the best book I've read in the last year and is a strong contender for one of my favourite books of all time. Just writing this review has made me want to read it again!

*****

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is out on May 18th and available to preorder now from HarperCollins Publishers.

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