Monday 26 August 2019

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Contemporary)

Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Harper Collins

Publication Date: 2018 (2017)
Borrowed Copy


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 ever weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled existence. Except, sometimes, everything...

A friend had wanted me to read this book, so when the opportunity to do so arose, I took it. I went in not expecting too much, thinking in advance it might not be for me. However, in the end, I found the tale endearing. Where Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine works best is in the perfect balance between sadness/poignancy and happiness/humour. Taken on the surface, it should be harrowing, yet Honeyman never tries to manipulate the reader into an excess of emotion. The truth is there, but it is nuanced and not thrown in our faces. That's a hard thing to do and I applaud her for it. I was able to relate to Eleanor, and I enjoyed seeing her navigate difficult situations, each time with better results. Overall, this was a fun, quick read that I enjoyed. It doesn't make my top-reads-of-all-time listing, but it is one I am glad I had the opportunity to peruse. 4.5 stars.

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