Author: Gail Honeyman
Genre: General Fiction
Quote: Sometimes you simply needed someone kind to sit with you while you dealt with things.
Setting: Glasgow, Scotland, Present
Premise: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. There is no way she could be anything else, with her perfect routine optimised for efficiency in accumulating the necessities, like milk, tinned spaghetti, and 2 litres of vodka, whilst avoiding time-consuming activities, like talking to humans. But her simple world is flipped on its head when a simple change to her routine ends with her saving the life of an elderly gentleman who had collapsed in the street. One act of kindness and two lives saved.
This award-winning novel with its catchy title was a sensation when it first came out, it’s taken me a good few years to get around to it as it’s in a genre that I rarely read, but a recent reading slump had me looking for something a bit different to my usual fictional haunts, cue Eleanor Oliphant and her straight-talking wit!
Eleanor is thirty years old living a seemingly plain and boring life, but we quickly discover that plain and boring is the best her life has ever been. The plot follows her efforts to survive each day as it comes and to not rock the fragile life raft she has made herself. Eleanor’s character is full of witty observations and little patience for failures of social decorum. Whilst it’s never said explicitly, her outlook and mannerisms are reminiscent of someone with autism, a trait that makes her such a fun and fresh character to follow.
There’s a lot to unpack theme-wise in regard to this book, there’s a lot of gritty subtext to the storyline, from mental health, to learning to forgive yourself, and touching on subjects such as alcoholism and broken families. But in my personal view, the strongest theme in this book is loneliness and overcoming it. For all the darkness in the book, there is a happy ending, giving it a warm and comforting feel-good vibe.
Since this book’s release, I’ve debated reading it often. It’s been on my TBR for quite some time, but with all the hype part of me wondered if it was just a bit of a fad. However, the premise had gripped me, and this book just kept on popping up, so I finally gave in. I’m so glad I did. This was a gem of a book and just what I needed to kick me out of this reading slump! I hope you enjoy it too, Happy Book Hunting!
You’ve heard enough about how much I like this book, but is this book you’re hunting for?
1. Do you enjoy character-led plots?
2. Are you in the mood for a refreshingly flawed and very human heroine?
3. Do you want a cosy feel-good read with a happy ending?
If you answered yes, yES, YES! Then this might well be your next favourite read!