For a very long time I have been searching for a book that could rekindle my love of reading. Being a busy mum of two, I really crave the escapism from real life that a book can offer but I have been struggling to find a story that was able to hold my attention. I have been on a mission to find a book that takes over my life, a real page turner worth staying up late reading and sacrificing my precious evenings binge watching Netflix for. I needed one of those books that’s leaves it characters and their lives lingering in your mind long after you’ve reluctantly put your paper back down to get on with something else. I did as anyone would do with a dilemma in this day and age and I turned to social media for help to find my perfect book. I had a fair few suggestions but when someone suggested a unknown title to me on Twitter, I knew it was the one, the book that could bring my inner bookworm back to life. That book was Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine and, if this paragraph hasn’t already given it away, I LOVED it. Here is my full review ..
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine review.
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine is a debut novel written by Scottish author Gail Honeyman. The book is about thirty year old Eleanor, a woman who is very good at existing but has never learnt to really live. Eleanor works in an office Monday to Friday and spends her weekend at home alone, drinking two bottles of vodka in an attempt to block out her painful past. Over the years Eleanor has convinced herself that this way of living is perfectly acceptable, completely fine in fact, but something happens on an evening out in the reluctant company of an office colleague that makes Eleanor realise she needs a change, she needs a man.
This book is not a love story though and whilst Eleanor’s quest for love is a key part of the narrative, self acceptance and learning to live are the main driving forces in the story. After work one day Eleanor bumps into a colleague she vaguely knows from the office IT department and together they discover something in the street, a somewhat random event that unlocks a new path in Eleanor’s journey. Eleanor begins to learn that life is not just about survival, it is for living and for sharing with others. Eleanor slowly begins to step out of her comfort zone and starts to let more and more people in to her life, she has spent most of her life feeling lonely and baffled my the ways of most of society so this does not come naturally to her.
I fell in love with Eleanor almost immediately. Whilst her character in many ways is so not relatable to me as a mostly mainstream person from an unbroken home, in other ways I felt like she thought a lot of the same things about modern society as I do. Eleanor’s observations on the social habits of other adults are often hilarious and seeing interactions most of us take for granted every day through the eyes of someone who is desperately lonely was really interesting. I really felt for Eleanor reading this book, yes she has some very odd little ways but it is clear she could be an amazing person to have in your life, if only she knew how to invite more people into her own.
We learn pretty early on that Eleanor hasn’t had the best upbringing and it is pretty clear from the outset that this has had an impact on her failing somewhat to develop into a fully functioning adult in society. Honeyman has a clever way of keeping you wondering what exactly happened to Eleanor as a child, we are teased with little snippets of memories but it is not until very near the end of the book that we understand the full extent of what Eleanor has been through.
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine was able to break my heart but also make it feel incredibly warm on countless occasions and is the book I desperately wanted to read. I didn’t write my blog for days, I let the laundry pile get 3 loads too big, I stayed up way past my bedtime because I just couldn’t put it down.
I am usually someone who spends a lot of time reading crime and thriller novels so it was so nice to read a book where no one gets murdered and there is not a single police detective in sight. I don’t know what genre this book falls into exactly but Honeyman recently won the Costa First Book award and has been shortlisted for several others and it is easy to see why; I think whatever type of book you normally enjoy you will undoubtedly end up falling in love with the endearing Eleanor Oliphant too.
One of my new year goals was to read one book a month, we are only half way in to January and I am already one down. Thanks to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine my love for books has been reborn and I am looking forward to getting lost in another story really soon.
Rating * * * * *
Get your copy of Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine here
Have you read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine? What did you think? Have you read something recently that you just couldn’t put down it was that good? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to my reading list.
If you enjoyed reading this you may also like my other book reviews..
Mad About the Boy , Helen Fielding
Us, David Nicholls
The Grownup, Gillian Flynn
Me before You, JoJo Moyes
The Lie, C S Taylor
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
Dark Places, Gillian Flynn