If you have read and enjoyed Fredrick Backman’s Britt Marie Was Here, I think you would enjoy this novel by Gail Honeyman.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. All this means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner.
I received this book thru my Book of the Month subscription for December and it was my first pick from my TBR jar that I have dedicated to this year’s Unread Shelf Project. What attracted me to this novel was my thought that it was so similar to the above mentioned novel by Fredrick Backman. I recently read Britt Marie Was Here and thoroughly enjoyed it.
In Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you meet a 30 year old woman who is basically living the life of a 65 year old grandma. If her age was not mentioned you could imagine her as an uptight old lady. To be such a young woman, she is a creature of routine and habit. You can’t help but laugh at her ways from time to time. The more serious she is, the funnier her situation seems, until you learn about her past.
Eleanor survived a horrific fire during her childhood but as a result of it, she had to grow up in the foster care system. She does not have any friends, she is socially awkward, and her life is controlled indirectly by her mother. As the story progresses, you learn to love Eleanor and cheer for her from your reading spot because she attempts to make changes in her routine even if at first it is only because she is preparing to meet the love of her life. She steps into the world of technology and the world of beauty. I think her experience with waxing was my favorite funny part.
Even with her attempts to make changes, Eleanor’s life takes a near devastating turn. She then has to learn how to love herself and accept the love and friendship of others.
This is a quick, quirky read but is full of life. This book subtly addresses alcoholism and child abuse. It also touches on mental health and help.
I gave this novel 4.5 stars. It is available now.