Your next favourite novel has arrived
Of one thing you can be sure: if you don’t read Gail Honeyman’s refreshing and uplifting debut novel Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine right now, sooner or later one of your friends will insist that you do so.
Eleanor is a woman ruled by routine: work, crossword, unvarying diet, sleep…and, on the weekend, a couple of bottles of vodka thrown into the mix.
She has no friends, is shunned by her workmates and beyond socially awkward with a hazy family background which only swims into focus during her weekly surreally disconcerting phone conversations with her vicious mother.
Routine is interrupted, though, when Eleanor feels she has spotted the man who she will spend the rest of her life with; all she has to do now is engineer a meeting and actually talk to him.
Uh-oh, is this going to turn into The Rosie Project? you might ask. Well, like The Rosie Project it is laugh out loud funny in places, but it is so, so much more than that too.
There are passages of unbearable sadness and poignancy, but these are offset by the uplifting nature of Eleanor’s journey of self enlightenment and just when things are at their bleakest, this book serves up the literary equivalent of a hug. And if this sounds mawkish, well that’s my fault, the book is devoid of it.
Eleanor Oliphant is one of the most endearing literary heroines you will come across. First time author Gail Honeyman has written a book you will race through, simply because you won’t want to put it down. The characters are fresh, funny and appalling; the plot is pleasingly unpredictable and this is a novel of untold charm. Quite simply a perfect summer read…and yes, it is hardback, but it’s a very reasonable £12.99 and, as for the extra weight in your luggage, just ditch some clothes: you’ll need this book more!