Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

“Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” follows the story of the titular Eleanor, who lives a very routine driven life; she goes to work, eats the same food every day, comes home to her flat and doesn’t really see anybody and drinks 2 litres of vodka over the course of her weekends. If asked, she would say that she is completely fine, but is all as it seems.

I had seen a lot of posts about this on bookstagram and I know it won a lot of awards last year but I hadn’t really looked into what it was about at all until I was in Tesco and looking for a book to get on the 2 for £7 deal. On reading the synopsis I felt a bit of an affinity with Eleanor and her routine life. I often feel like my life is pretty routine and the days seem to blend into one another.

I’m so glad I decided to read this. The first person narrative really puts you in Eleanor’s shoes and I grew to love her quirky personality traits. Throughout the first half of the book there were a lot of hints about what has happened to Eleanor in the past and why she is the way she is and this kept me hooked and wanting to read more. I love the friendship that forms between Eleanor and Raymond and the way she starts to come out of her shell more and more.

During the second half of the book Eleanor’s past starts to become more clear and it made me feel for her even more. Right at the end there was a twist that I didn’t see coming at all, I love when a writer can surprise me without it feeling out of place.

I enjoyed Honeyman’s writing style, the way she built the picture of Eleanor and her lifestyle and then dropped in the hints about her past like breadcrumbs. The first person narrative made me identify with Eleanor even more than I thought I would and when the book ended I really wanted to know what happened next for her. I’d love there to be a sequel of this and see how she’s getting on.

It really made me think about how I treat people who are maybe a little bit unusual and how society as a whole views people who are “different” and I think we could all stand to be a little kinder to one another as you never really know what people are going through in their lives.


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Filed under Fiction Reviews 2019

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