By: Gail Honeyman
Publisher: Pamela Dorman
Publication Date: 5/9/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars +
30 Best Books of 2017
Glasgow-based author, Gail Honeyman’s debut hits it "out-of-the-park" with her hilarious and emotional tale of a misfit with a secret past. A young eccentric (oddball) woman suffering from a mysterious childhood trauma— ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE.
The author cleverly takes us on a journey of self-discovery through the eyes of an often “naïve” (peculiar), troubled, and sheltered young woman. With a dysfunctional past, she makes her way through adulthood to "first time" new adventures, and possibly love.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon! (It will be dynamite)! Can't wait to see the cast lineup.
For fans of Elizabeth Berg, Elizabeth Strout, Fredrik Backman, Jo Jo Moyes, and Jennifer Weiner.
Eleanor Oliphant is single and twenty-nine years old. She lives a solitary life. She lives alone. She keeps to herself and uses her Vodka to keep her warm and safe from the cruel outside world.
She works Monday thru Friday and of course, on the weekends she has her Vodka, pizza, pills, and sleep.
And her . . . devastating weekly phone calls with her Mummy. She is cruel, evil, and hateful. (the narrator is "award-winning").
Eleanor thinks the outside world is foreign. She is clueless. Almost like someone with, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
As she rides the train she watches observes and criticizes.She has a routine. She does not go outside this arena.
Eleanor has a scar on her face, raised in foster care, and she is miserable. She is opinionated and highly intelligent. No social skills and awkward with interactions.
She does like to stockpile painkillers to keep on hand for emergencies. Weirdly obsessed with a local musician, whom she has not met.
After a mysterious event in her childhood (the author keeps that under her belt until the end; leaving readers glued to the pages), that left half her face badly scarred. While in college she was in a very abusive relationship. We can only assume she had an abusive childhood.
However, she thinks she is perfectly fine.
Eleanor has no social or people skills and is awkward in social settings. She dreads her phone calls with her nasty mummy.
Then one day at work she has some computer issues and meets IT guy, Raymond and they help an old man. They develop an unlikely friendship. They can relate to one another since he is a bit geeky as well.
Through Raymond, Eleanor slowly goes outside her comfort zone. She ventures to the mall. She is introduced to restaurants, shopping, shoes, clothes, hair, makeup, nails. The makeup Bobbi Brown counter was hilarious as was the restaurant! All this is foreign to her.
She has made fun of everyone; however, she never thought to look inside or beneath the surface to find the true meaning of people’s hearts and soul. Everyone has circumstances and baggage. Including her own self.
When she hits rock bottom, she is pulled out with the help of Raymond and is forced to seek the counsel of a therapist. The therapist helps her maneuver through her muddy dark past (this is when we learn the events of her tragic past) and the witch of a mummy.
Was dying for her to stand up to her dear mummy and cut her out of her life.
Through it all, Eleanor desires love, friendships, family, and acceptance. However, there has never been any role models in her life; however, she still has the capacity to love and be loved when pointed in the right direction —with patience and understanding.
Razor sharp and clever writing, ELEANOR OLIPHANT is compelling, quirky, moving, romantic, endearing, heartbreaking, sad, complex, witty, charming, and comical. Almost like a coming-of-age with a bag full of emotions, mixed with thriller, and comedy. Loved it!
Fans of Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here and A Man Called Ove; Elizabeth Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge.
Highly recommend the audiobook, narrated by Cathleen McCarron for endless hours of entertainment! Looking forward to many more books by this talented new author.