Author(s): Gail Honeyman
Reviewed by Bookoccino's newest member of staff, Bibi. Eleanor lives a highly regulated life, struggles with social cues, has no mouth “filter” and relaxes on the weekend eating pizza and consuming two bottles of vodka, feeling she’s completely fine. When her work computer malfunctions, tech support Raymond enters Eleanor’s life, unintentionally ending her profoundly sad and isolated existence. Eleanor is cranky but so very funny, her humour contrasting her underlying dark past. The human need for connection is the central theme of this endearing, original, heartfelt novel. I absolutely loved it. No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.
Longlisted for the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction
`A truly original literary creation: funny, touching and unpredictable. Her journey out of the shadows is expertly woven and absolutely gripping' --Jojo Moyes `Original [and] unexpectedly funny' --SUNDAY TIMES `As perceptive and wise as it is funny and endearing... Warm, funny and thought-provoking' --OBSERVER `A narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness... Wonderful and joyful' --Jenny Colgan, GUARDIAN `Unforgettable, brilliant, funny and life-affirming' Wendy Holden, -DAILY MAIL `I adored it. Skilled, perceptive, Eleanor's world will feel familiar to you from the very first page. An outstanding debut!' --Joanna Cannon `Hugely original, a funny and sad tale of a survivor who tackles the challenges of emotional reconnection with grave courage. Unmissable.' --SUNDAY EXPRESS `A truly original voice and so good on loneliness: I sobbed- and sobbed' Cathy Rentzenbrink `An outstanding debut about loneliness and the power of a little kindness' --MAIL ON SUNDAY `So powerful - I completely loved Elsome time' --YORKSHIRE POST `Moving, funny and devastating' --THE HERALD `Quirky, witty and absorbing' HEAT `Warm and funny, moving and deeply original, Eleanor Oliphant is completely marvellous' --Gavin Extence `A beautiful and delicate balance between funny and heartbreaking... restores your faith in humanity' --RED `You'll laugh and cry reading this fine debut' --PRIMA `Impeccable' --Dawn O'Porter `Delightful, dark and moving' --Sarah Pinborough `Warm, quirky and fun, with a real poignancy underneath' --Julie Cohen `A stunning debut! I laughed, wept and reflected' --Lucy Clarke `Satisfyingly quirky' --NEW YORK TIMES
While Gail Honeyman was writing her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress. Translation rights have sold to over thirty territories worldwide, Reese Witherspoon bought the film rights, and it was chosen as one of the Observer's Debuts of the Year for 2017. Gail was also awarded the Scottish Book Trust's Next Chapter Award in 2014, and has been longlisted for BBC Radio 4's Opening Lines and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She lives in Glasgow.