This months reading roulette is . . . . . ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine’ by Gail Honeyman. I’m quite happy this one came up this month, as I’ve been hearing a lot about it and was hoping to be on the bandwagon before it drove out of town.
Eleanor Oliphant is doing ok. She has a simple life and a simple routine. Eleanor doesn’t really have any close acquaintances but she’s ok with that because Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, or so she thinks. In one adventitious afternoon Eleanor becomes closely involved in the lives of Raymond, an unassuming IT guy at the accounts firm where she works, Sammy, an elderly gentleman with an upfront manner, and his larger than life family. Eleanor slowly starts to realise that maybe things weren’t so fine after all.
What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said already? I can see why it has had such high acclaim.
Eleanor is a hard character to relate to, her mannerisms and speech are antiquated and she has an almost childish naivety about her. However, because of the way she looks at life you can’t help becoming involved and follow her story. From the outset we are given very few details about Eleanor, so you draw certain conclusions about her quirky behaviour. Gradually as the book goes on you tease more and more details about Eleanor, her family, and her history and things start to make sense. Honeyman does well in holding back information, only letting it come to light at the right moment, right up until the very end.
I did really enjoy this book. I liked the way it was told from Eleanor’s perspective, her naive outlook gives you a different perception of situations
It’s clear that Gail Honeyman is trying to get across a very strong message about loneliness. I am very much oversimplifying the story by saying this, but Eleanor Oliphant is lonely and as such is having trouble dealing with her demons. It’s when she is thrown into the company of others that things take a turn and she begins the healing process. I think it’s this message and it’s implications on today’s society that has made it so popular