Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Gail Honeyman


Harper Collins May 18th 2017

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine isn’t she? She gets up every morning diligently carries out her duties at the advertising firm where she works, comes home eats pasta and pesto every night, does the crossword and goes to bed. Every weekend she stays at home, drinks vodka and slips into oblivion until Monday morning appears once again. You see Eleanor is lonely, she talks to her absentee mother every Wednesday and has no other family or indeed any friends. Her plain speaking, saying it as it is, the scar down one side of her face, the ill fitting lacklustre clothes, mark her as different, a bit ‘mental’ Then, she encounters, Raymond, the company IT man and develops a crush on a handsome singer she sees at a gig she wins tickets to and all of a sudden Eleanor’s live begins to change. I’m not going to say any more because I want everyone to read this truly wonderful debut novel. It will make you laugh and cry. It will make you question what it means to be lonely, to not know what life can really be like if you just take those first few steps to open up and reach out to someone

Honeyman’s characterisation of Eleanor is so good, really plunging the depths of her angst and emotions, pulling the reader in , making the reader turn those pages faster to find out what happens to Eleanor next. Will she drown in her loneliness or will she emerge like a beautiful butterfly from the confines of a chrysalis that has for so long protected her from people and modern life?

The writing is such that I became totally immersed in the story, empathising with Eleanor, laughing at her odd take on life and shedding the odd tear at the sad moments. I particularly loved the relationship between Raymond and Eleanor, her first real friend, the first person to accept her for who she was and didn’t think her mad, the one to pick up the pieces and encourage her to believe. If from this review you are thinking this is a tragic sad novel, then yes it is, but it is also funny and more importantly full of hope. Already, optioned to be made into a film by Reese Witherspoon, this novel is destined for great things, so make sure you buy it and read it!

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review.

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