Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

3/5 Stars
Reviewed by: Annie
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Published by: Pamela Dorman Books, May 9th, 2017
Pages: 327

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Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. Or at least that’s what she’d like herself and the rest of the world to believe.

Eleanor is an adorable, modest, practical, rigid and honest character. At 30 years old, the only social engagements she finds herself having each week are the dreadful interactions with her coworkers, and her weekly calls with “mummy”. Aside from that, she is perfectly fine with spending her weekends listening to an interesting radio program and downing a couple of bottles of vodka to herself. She’s fine, though.

Throughout the story, Honeymoon slowly and subtly reveals information about Eleanor’s troubling past that left her with intricate scars up the side of her face, such as her time in the foster care system and a mysterious ‘event’ that changed her life entirely.

If there’s one thing I appreciate about a book it is subtlety. I cannot stand when a book hits you over the head with a theme or a character trait. A great example I loved from this book that sums up Eleanor’s character was instead of explaining in great detail the kind of person that Eleanor is, it was revealed through lines as simple as “She bent over to adjust the velcro on her work shoes” or something like that…it made me laugh and I appreciated the picture it painted of her character with as much delicacy as the white cotton gloves she often wears.

I really enjoyed Eleanor’s character development and her inner monologues. I pictured a Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook type character; quirky, blunt, completely herself. I found myself giggling as more often than not with this one, which made some of the heavy subject matter easier to swallow.

Overall a generally light read. I originally planned to give it 4/5 stars but realized I finished the book without folding down a single page corner to come back to, so 3/5 it shall be.

Reviewed by: Annie

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