Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Post by Graham on Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:58 pm

Eleanor has a degree, lives on her own with a pot plant, goes to work each day, avoids intimacies with her co-workers and comes home to eat the same meal every night. At the weekend she buys and drinks a bottle of Chianti and two litres of vodka and treats herself to a Tesco’s pizza. She is completely fine. Her only interaction with a human seems to be her weekly chat with her mother, incarcerated in an unnamed institution and intent on continuing her lifelong abuse of her daughter by phone.

So far, so ‘how is this different from my life?’ Things start to change when she forms a crush on a local singer and encouraged by the sarcastic advice of her mother plots how they will come together, fall in love etc. Honeyman really has been reading my diary.

At the same time the new IT expert takes an interest in her. Raymond is overweight, unkempt, and unclear about the proper relationship between underpants and jeans. Ok that didn’t happen to me, honest.

There is a lot more going on in this book but there will be no spoilers here. Just have faith things will work out. They do but there is a life-threatening level of self-destruction to overcome first, not to mention the evil mother.

It is partially the ease of identification with Eleanor, we think we could all have been there, and partly the gradual revelations of the horrors in her life that make this so riveting. She is not like us. It is told entirely in Eleanor’s voice and the miss-steps in her attempts to fix her life are skilfully handled. This is another book I thoroughly enjoyed.

Graham
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