Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine … a review

When this book had initially come out, it had created a storm. Especially for me, locally it was talked about a lot. The author Gail Honeyman is Scottish and she’d also been awarded a prize by Scottish Book Trust, so naturally, it was all over my feed. I thoroughly recommend the writers back by SBT and they do some fantastic work at supporting new talent. But because of the popularity of this book, I hadn’t managed to grab a library copy back in 2017. But I did a few weeks ago, and was glad for it.

Eleanor is a young girl in her late twenties who is, as explained, absolutely fine. But of course, she isn’t. It is evident from the first page that Eleanor deals with a great deal of darkness in her past and has a strained relationship with her mother. She is also a social recluse and seems to be on the spectrum. The book is like a grown up version of Bridget Jones. While Bridget’s story is presented in a light-hearted and comical fashion, Eleanor’s focuses more on what loneliness is actually like. The insomnia, the alcohol abuse, it is all laid bare through Honeyman’s excellent storytelling.

A chance encounter pits Eleanor against a colleague and her life begins to unravel at that. And while the eventual conclusion is not unexpected, it is still very welcome and well put. It is incredible to think that this is Honeyman’s debut – as her writing is solid, strong and her character arcs very polished. I believe that Eleanor Oliphant is being made into a movie, that should be an interesting watch.

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