Book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, the debut novel by Gail Honeyman, was something I had decided to read as a break from my regular reading rotation. I wanted something a little lighter and uplifting. Although this novel was not what I was expecting (I didn’t find it to be a “feel good” story at all), I really ended up enjoying the quirky Eleanor Oliphant and was connected to her story. Coming of age elements, some deeply complex characters and humorous chick lit, were blended to create a story that both entertaining and made me think.
The novel opens with the introduction of Eleanor Oliphant (she would probably be annoyed as I write this review, as she prefers Miss. Oliphant. I am not her friend. Things would need to be formal), who is about as quirky as they come. She struggles with social skills, follows a strict routine (same clothing, same activities, same two bottles of vodka every Friday night) and says exactly what is on her mind. One day, after a chance run-in with Raymond, an IT guy from her office, they save an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk and the three become a mismatched trio. As Raymond forces Eleanor to look into her past, her deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever and Eleanor starts to realize, maybe she does deserve friendship-and love- after all.
The novel is broken down into three sections: Good Days, Bad Days and Better Days. In a way, the plot comes full circle and so does Eleanor.
I loved Eleanor; she reminded me a little bit of one of my aunts who is on the Autism spectrum. In fact, I almost stopped reading this one at one point because I felt so sad with the way people were treating her! However, I got a little bit of solace from the fact that Eleanor truly didn’t mind! Her banter throughout the novel had me cracking up; I found her narrative voice to be extremely endearing.
Overall, I felt this novel was brilliantly written and if you want a realistic novel that will make you think and get into your heart, then look no further! Eleanor Oliphant was a breath of fresh air into my reading rotation.