Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Look, I do a new release blog every single week. And, oftentimes, when I'm doing the research, I come across the same names over and over. Breaking through the James Pattersons, the Nora Roberts, and the Stephen Kings of the writing world is darn near impossible. This year, I've made a point to read debut novels. So, without further ado, a debut to read right now.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman.
Eleanor Oliphant has a routine and she likes to stick to it. She is living that capsule wardrobe life, wearing the same drab outfits. She goes to the same grocery store where she buys the same food. She talks to her mother, reluctantly, but she still talks to her, on the phone every Wednesday evening. She eats the same take away pizza every Friday night. And she washes it down with copious amounts of vodka. So, in short, Eleanor Oliphant is far from fine. But, she thinks she's fine.
What I liked:
To begin with, everything. Eleanor, despite her flaws and her surly disposition is accidentally hilarious. An example, she's at the office and they're taking up a collection for a co-worker who is getting married. She refuses to participate and has an internal dialogue about how it should't be her responsibility to buy new flatware for a couple just because they've decided to wed. Surely they have flatware. How have they been eating thus far? I don't disagree. Unless you're Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate, I'm not buying you dishes. You're adults. Buy your own things. Eleanor becomes even more hilarious when you find out she's, like, 29 years old. It's easy to make the assumption that she's essentially Mrs. Gulch from The Wizard of Oz, so it's even funnier when you realize she's quite young.
I love Raymond, Eleanor's one and only friend. I love their relationship so much. He has the patience of a saint.
There are a couple of reveals about Eleanor's past throughout the book that I enjoyed.
This book, though funny at times, also touches on some pretty difficult subjects. Like being a functional alcoholic, for one, and what happens when that person slips from functional into dysfunctional. It's just a great book all around.
What I didn't like:
Or, what I liked, part two.
I really don't have much to say that's negative. The character development is phenomenal. Even if you don't particularly like a person, you'll feel some kind of way about them. And that's what I love about this book. Rather than being a three-star book about a woman who's having a tough time until she's not, it's a five-star book because the author really reaches in deep and creates a relationship between the reader and the characters.
Reasons to give this book a chance:
Reese Witherspoon selected it as for her book club. If that isn't reason enough, reading this silly blog likely won't change your mind. Eleanor, the book and the person, is an emotional roller coaster. She will make you feel sad, she'll make you laugh, even if it's not on purpose. You'll cry, you'll feel empathetic, and, sometimes, you'll be completely fine.