Friday, November 03, 2017

'Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman

3 November 2017

I’ve just finished reading Gail Honeyman’s novel ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ (as an unabridged audio book, narrated by Cathleen McCarron). It’s an intriguing and inspiring tale which demonstrates the too often overlooked joy of normality. Eleanor Oliphant is an intelligent, capable 30-year-old who works in an office but seems to have minimal social skills. Through Eleanor’s precise, unemotional first-person narration we gradually piece together traumatic childhood events which have left her scarred (physically and emotionally) and suppressed memories that are preventing her from leading a normal life. Her naive, literal, narration – from which the reader is left to deduce things that Eleanor herself doesn’t fully understand – reminded me of Mark Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’. Eleanor’s gradual emergence from the protective shell of her lonely routine existence is genuinely heart-warming.



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