Lauren Molyneux curls up with a good book to review one of the latest best sellers
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
“I’m not lonely… I’m fine on my own. I’ve always been fine on my own.”
Eleanor Oliphant is neither ecstatically happy nor desperately sad. If anyone asked her how she was, not that anyone ever would, she would provide a polite reply of ‘Fine. Just fine’.
She’s excessively bright with a top degree in Classics, yet nothing stumps her quite like society. Baffled by kitten heels and fashionable handbags, and awed by the bright lights and goods offered by Tesco Extra, she marks herself as an ‘office worker’, wearing the same outfit to work every day and sustaining herself with the same £3 meal deal and the lunchtime crossword puzzle.
Following the same weekly ritual that she has for the past decade, spending eight hours a day behind a desk and a weekend alone in her flat with two bottles of vodka, Eleanor Oliphant simply exists. She’s used to being on the receiving end of mocking and ridicule, usually from her co-workers, however a small act of kindness will change her life forever.
A wonderful story told with charm and wit, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the harrowing yet heart-warming story of a young woman who chooses to face her demons and deal with her tragic past head-on. At times you can expect to find yourself chuckling – at others, you’ll find yourself sat with the book in your hands and a teary-eyed grin spread across your face.
Having created so many wonderful and relatable characters, Gail Honeyman writes tragedy, grief, comedy and the every-day exceedingly well. While tackling loneliness in a way that fiction never has before, Honeyman’s story is one that has been designed to show us the very best and the very worst of which human beings are capable. Highlighting the fact that a person is infinitely more than just their past, Honeyman casts a light on the value of true friendship, and writes Eleanor in such a way to change our minds on what it means to truly live.
Wonderfully written with warmth and compassion, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is an outstanding debut from an author who is definitely one to watch. With a well-paced plot exhibiting a meandering set of twists and turns, the novel is utterly un-put-downable, and definitely one to read this summer.