Author: Gail Honeyman
Genre: General Fiction
Format: Paperback 400 pages
Release Date: 25 January 2018
I picked this book up from my local library. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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?
Oh wow, you know when you read a book and you just loved absolutely everything about it, you loved the writing, you loved the characters, you loved the plot…. well that’s what this book was for me. Even more shocking is that this is the author’s debut novel! To hit these points so perfectly in a first book is really rare.
Eleanor is a beautiful character. From the first moment I met her in the pages of this book I was invested in what was going to happen to her. I really enjoyed experiencing Eleanor’s firsts with her, her first manicure, first time buying a laptop, first time visiting someone in the hospital, and many more. All those things that most people take for granted, like going for lunch with a friend, or even just having a friend to call and chat to in the evenings, are all things that don’t come naturally to Eleanor.
Raymond enters Eleanor’s life and nothing is ever really the same for her after. I wish everyone could have a Raymond in their life. As Eleanor is so socially awkward it’s really beautiful that despite this, her friendship with Raymond blossoms.
Things have happened in Eleanor’s past that she’s never fully come to terms with and I felt like I went on a journey with Eleanor as she discovered how to be herself and how to face the demons from her past.
What the author has managed to create here is something really unique and special. I think everyone should take a moment to meet Eleanor and Raymond.
About the Author
Gail Honeyman’s debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, won the Costa First Novel Award 2017, and has been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Desmond Elliott Prize.
As a work in progress, it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. Since publication, translation rights have sold to over thirty territories worldwide, Reese Witherspoon has optioned it for film and it was chosen as one of the Observer’s Debuts of the Year for 2017. Gail was also awarded the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, and has been longlisted for BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.
Gail lives in Glasgow.
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