I had been waiting to read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine for some time. I had seen the cover of the book all over Instagram and read reviews and I was just really intrigued by the title and the promise of something a little bit different. This is Gail Honeyman’s debut novel and it has been very well received, as soon as I posted a picture of my book on Instagram people were telling me how much they had enjoyed it.
Eleanor Elephant is a thirty year old woman who is fine on her own, working in the same job she has been in for nine years and not needing anyone. But several events change Eleanor’s perspective on her career, her life and whether she is really ok completely on her own, barely speaking to anyone.
This book is honestly a delight to read. I can’t wait to pass it on to friends and family. Eleanor is an unusual but likeable character, I recognised parts of myself in her and I think that this book is very clever in making the reader see how easily you can become the lonely person, if life just dealt you a slightly different hand. Not only is Eleanor likeable, but so are many of the other characters in the book – here I don’t want to give too much away though as this book is full of wonderful surprises and the sort of details that make you pause and wonder how Honeyman came up with them.
For the most part this feels like a gentler read than my usual taste, it’s funny and comforting and makes you pause and think about life. But at the same time there are a few big twists and many life laugh out loud moments – apologies to the lady sitting next to me on the bus the other day when I kept laughing, I promise I’m not (completely) bonkers. For me, this is the type of book that makes me want to be a better writer, even if I do write in a different genre. It’s well crafted, beautifully written, full of interesting characters, moments that will make you stop and think and at the end of the book you will definitely consider going back to the beginning and reading it all over again. I would even go so far as to say that this has been my favourite book of the year so far! A definite must read!