Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy.
Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than...fine?
I hate it when there is a great deal of hype around a book - I'm always fearful when I read it that it won't live up to expectations. There are a few bestsellers out there that have singularly failed to wow me and then I find myself wondering if everyone else is more clever than I am that they saw something so wonderful in what I didn't.
So I'd been putting off reading Eleanor Oliphant for a while. There is just so much love out there for this book - that I really was scared of becoming a lone voice shouting at the wind.
I didn't know much about the book except from that everyone seemed to love it, I had read the blurb and I knew that the theme of loneliness ran throughout it.
What I was not expecting was to become so immersed in this story that i simply didn't not want it to end. It is by far one of the most uplifting books I have read in years, if not the most uplifting book i have ever read.
That's not to say there aren't bits in this book that pack hard, painful punches. At times I had to put it down and just think about what I had read. There is a punch delivered near the end - in a single line - that actually broke my heart.
But oh my God.... this book! This beautiful, life affirming, hope giving book. It shows that life can change in unexpected ways, that everyone has their story, their battle, their scars - physical and emotional and if only we learned to look beyond them we might find something really beautiful.
As a protagonist Eleanor is quirky, sad, funny, heartbreakingly unaware of what she is worth and someone who, within a few pages, despite her often brusque exterior, you find yourself championing, feeling her emotions, watching as she makes mistakes and picks herself up and walks around in a world where she doesn't seem to fit.
The supporting characters in this book - especially her work colleague, Raymond, are equally memorable and infinitely admirable.
The writing is exquisite, the gentle roll of the story, the drip feeding of information about Eleanor's past is done with such delicacy that this is simply a sublime read.
If a work of fiction can make the world a better place, this is it.
I loved every perfectly formed, beautifully pronounced, carefully placed word and I loved Eleanor.
Quite simply, this is a book you have to read..
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is published by Harper Fiction.
I purchased my own copy of this book for review.