Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
By Gail Honeyman
Published by HarperCollins (25 January 2018)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley

Publisher's description
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?

My verdict
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine took me on a emotional journey, through joy, hope, sadness and despair. The writing is gorgeous and highly readable, and the story is sensitive and compassionate. This is the type of book that I will read again, to savour the descriptions and the dialogue.

Eleanor is socially awkward and full of innocence with a simple, and very black-and-white, view of life, people and the world around her. It took me a little while to get inside her head, but then I couldn't let go. I fell in love with her character's quirky nature and sharp observations, and then with the book itself.

Though the book isn't a crime novel or a psychological thriller, there's still an element of mystery within its pages. Eleanor can't remember something about her past, having locked it away in a corner of her mind, somewhere safe where it can't hurt her. So underneath all that naivety, some dark shadowy secrets are desperate to come out, and over time Eleanor realises that maybe she's not completely fine after all.

This is a book about loneliness, love and laughter. About feeling different, overcoming obstacles and finding somewhere you belong. And about how simple acts of kindness can have a powerful impact on people's lives - those who perform them and those who receive them.

Highly recommended.

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