Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: Debut Sunday Times Bestseller and Costa First Novel Book Award winner 2017 Paperback – 25 Jan 2018
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‘A truly original literary creation: funny, touching and unpredictable. Her journey out of the shadows is expertly woven and absolutely gripping’ Jojo Moyes
‘Original [and] unexpectedly funny’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘As perceptive and wise as it is funny and endearing… Warm, funny and thought-provoking’ OBSERVER
‘A narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness… Wonderful and joyful’ Jenny Colgan, GUARDIAN
‘Unforgettable, brilliant, funny and life-affirming’ Wendy Holden, DAILY MAIL
‘I adored it. Skilled, perceptive, Eleanor's world will feel familiar to you from the very first page. An outstanding debut!’ Joanna Cannon
‘Hugely original, a funny and sad tale of a survivor who tackles the challenges of emotional reconnection with grave courage. Unmissable.’ SUNDAY EXPRESS
‘A truly original voice and so good on loneliness: I sobbed and sobbed’ Cathy Rentzenbrink
‘An outstanding debut about loneliness and the power of a little kindness’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘So powerful – I completely loved Eleanor Oliphant’ Fiona Barton
‘An absolute joy, laugh-out-loud funny but deeply moving’ DAILY EXPRESS
‘Heartbreaking’ Bryony Gordon
‘Deft, compassionate and moving’ Paula McLain
‘Heartwrenching and wonderful’ Nina Stibbe
‘Heartbreaking and heartwarming’ STYLIST
‘Brave, smart and funny… the most refreshing and heartwarming debut I’ve read in some time’ YORKSHIRE POST
‘Moving, funny and devastating’ THE HERALD
‘Quirky, witty and absorbing’ HEAT
‘Warm and funny, moving and deeply original, Eleanor Oliphant is completely marvellous’ Gavin Extence
‘A beautiful and delicate balance between funny and heartbreaking… restores your faith in humanity’ RED
‘You’ll laugh and cry reading this fine debut’ PRIMA
‘Impeccable’ Dawn O’Porter
‘Delightful, dark and moving’ Sarah Pinborough
‘Warm, quirky and fun, with a real poignancy underneath’ Julie Cohen
‘A stunning debut! I laughed, wept and reflected’ Lucy Clarke
‘Satisfyingly quirky’ NEW YORK TIMES
From the Inside Flap
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than... fine?
An astonishing story that powerfully depicts the loneliness of life, and the simple power of a little kindness
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There is always a worry with a much-hyped book that it won’t quite live up to expectations (so disappointing when this happens) and I did start reading with some slight trepidation. I needn’t have worried though as I absolutely adored Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine from the very first page.
This book reminded me in some ways to A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion as these books also feature a protagonist who is socially awkward but I really think that Gail Honeyman’s novel has so much more depth and compassion. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a wonderful novel which, through its strong characterisation and powerful storytelling drew me in to Eleanor’s world. We meet her when she is working for a design agency filled with cool, hip people and is the butt of their jokes and subject of their gossip. She works in accounts and whilst she says she is fine, she really, really isn’t. Her life is empty, she drinks two bottles of vodka every weekend, has a weekly phone call with her mummy, eats the same meals every day and her only friend is a plant in her living room.
Eleanor has met a man and having decided that he is The One, she sets about making him fall in love with her – the only problem is he has never met her before and has no idea she even exists. Whilst this makes it sound like this book is some kind of rom-com it isn’t – this is an example of Eleanor’s lack of social awareness and I found it totally endearing. Gail Honeyman has created a wonderful character in Eleanor, I fell head over heels in love with her, I loved her quirks, I loved her thought processes and there were moments of complete overwhelming sadness where I wanted to climb into the pages and comfort her.
This book is filled with moments of beautiful sweetness, particularly her friendship with Raymond which I thought was honest and believable. It would be easy for these moments to be saccharine and cloying but they’re not at all – his genuine regard for her and compassion was realistic and heart-warming. Gail Honeyman has a deft touch and avoids veering into mawkish territory. Eleanor’s past is hinted at – there are dark shadows lurking at the edge of the page and when the truth unravels it is heart-rending and brutal.
This book absolutely destroyed me – I think the last book that affected me so much was A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (if you haven’t read this, please do, it is a masterpiece). I keep thinking about it and I really want to talk about it (I can’t wait to get to book club!) because it is funny, sincere, thought-provoking and utterly, utterly devastating. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine deserves all the plaudits it is getting and I am stunned that this is Gail Honeyman’s debut novel. Accomplished and assured I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. I’ll be giving this book a 10 at book club – something which doesn’t happen very often.
I have found it difficult to put down.
I loved the way I became immersed in the now part of the story and then a piece of the past was revealed making Eleanor's life easier to understand.
It has been funny and sad in equal measures, but I never felt the need to cry, because Eleanor was strong underneath her sadness.
I would certainly recommend anyone of any age ( not young children) to read this
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