Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I love books with unusual characters. Actually, I love almost anything that has to do with unusual people. Sometimes it is the thing that can take a decent story and make it absolutely fabulous. From the blurb about this book, I gleaned that Eleanor would be a very different protagonist than what I’m used to so I decided to give it a go. Thank you to the First To Read program and Penguin Random House for this ARC!

Eleanor Oliphant lives a solitary life and she is perfectly happy with that. She finds it difficult to maintain or even initiate social interactions, as she has a tendency to say exactly what she thinks. Her personality, combined with her unusual appearance, means that Eleanor has always been a loner. Her weekends are spent alone in her apartment, with just pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy for company. But this little bubble of isolation is broken when Eleanor meets Raymond, the IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond save an elderly gentleman named Sammy, the three become friends who help each other get past the loneliness that dominates their lives. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor repair her own damaged one.

This novel is not your average chick-lit. While it is funny and uplifting, it also deals with some deep emotional elements that I wasn’t really expecting but was glad to read about. I quite enjoyed this novel because it had more depth to it than a usual chick lit but it didn’t bog me down with a sob story. I was also pleased to see that the author stuck true to her words and created a quirky personality that remained quirky throughout the novel; sometimes, you find that the interesting bit is only true in the beginning and the author forgets to maintain it as the focus shifts more to plot, but that definitely didn’t happen here! I loved Eleanor and she is definitely a character I have never read about! The best part about this novel is how it maintains the initial concepts and characteristics, even as they change and evolve throughout the story. I never had a moment where I felt that the story wasn’t quirky. I never had a moment where I felt that the plot was moving in a completely different direction with a markedly different tone and mood. Everything made sense and the story was just so enjoyable! Overall, I really liked this novel and would recommend this to anyone looking for a chick lit with a little more depth and quirkiness than the norm!

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