Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A truly odd woman navigates modern life, awkwardly. It's also a wonderfully weird book about the power of friendship!

Eleanor goes to work, does her job, and then goes home. Her wardrobe and meal plan - actually her whole existence - are designed for simplicity and hardiness. Except for the vodka, which gets her through the weekend.

We don't know much about Eleanor at the start, but throughout the story more information is dosed out in drips and drabs. Some truly startling pieces are laid down almost casually when you least expect it. She's a tough nut on the outside, but that protective shell hides the true core of her story - and things she's been trying to protect herself from, too.

Eleanor almost accidentally makes a friend one day when her work computer goes on the fritz and the IT guy pays a visit. Through that friendship, Eleanor also gains lots of perspective on human interactions, common pleasantries, and social mores. She goes to a party! She attends a funeral! She orders a drink in a pub!

This blossoming throughout the book is funny and inspiring (don't we all feel a bit socially awkward at times?) and offers hope that no one is ever too damaged to move forward.

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