Monday, May 22, 2017

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, 327 pages

As soon as I saw the title of this book, I thought, "Oh, she is SO not fine." Because really, who says they're completely fine and isn't lying? And sure enough, Eleanor Oliphant is not fine. Oh, she thinks she is — at the beginning of this book, Miss Oliphant (I suspect that she would insist upon being referred to in this manner) is chugging along through life, working in an office, eating pasta at home every night, and spending her weekends drinking vodka. Alone. But a chance encounter with Raymond, the new IT guy at work, spins Miss Oliphant's carefully measured life into a tailspin.

This is Honeyman's debut novel, and wow, it is fantastic. It doesn't have a huge plot — most of the events are the sorts of things that happen every day, like visiting someone in the hospital or going out to lunch with a coworker — but that's good, as it gives Miss Oliphant's emotional struggle the space it needs to fully play out. I also really liked seeing friendship develop between Raymond and Miss Oliphant; Raymond is the friend ALL of us need, and I loved seeing Miss Oliphant come to that realization. A phenomenal debut. I look forward to seeing what the author has in store in the future.

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