What an incredible debut and so brilliantly written.
Eleanor Oliphant is so obviously not ‘fine’. She’s had an unfortunate and horrible childhood, in and out of foster homes, no family or friends, and an unsightly burn scar on one side of her face. But, in Eleanor’s eyes, she has a job, a home and can look after herself so, she’s absolutely ‘fine’.
The book is split into three Parts – Good Days, Bad Days and Better Days. Good Days is the setting of the scene, we get to know Eleanor and her foibles. She is a strange, complex and eccentric young woman, one who you could imagine maybe being a bit picked on or seen as weird. After helping a collapsed man in the street, she begins to build a friendship with Raymond, her work colleague.
During Bad Days and Better Days, Raymond is an absolute rock for Eleanor. Written with sadness and pathos, the Bad and Better Days are a revelation into how childhoods and their traumas can impact on later life.
Gail Honeyman has written a truly amazing book and has cleverly woven a lovable character in Eleanor Oliphant and her sad life. There is much to laugh at as well as giving the reader deep and caring feelings for this strange young woman. I came to love Eleanor Oliphant and was truly sad to reach the end of the book and the end of my time with her. I haven’t read a book quite like this since A Man Called Ove was released.