Genre: contemporary fiction
Cover Illustrator : Holly MacDonald
Setting: 2010s, Scotland
Rated : 7 Stars
When people ask me what I do – taxi drivers, dental hygienists – I tell them I work in an office.
–Gail Honeyman - Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine - c.2017
I started reading this book because my book club chose it. I don’t think that I would have picked it up based on the blurb. And at first I thought that I wouldn’t like it at all. I found Eleanor irritating and annoying, and the way she was written didn’t make me interested in finding out more about her. From the outset it is obvious that she has some traumatic background, but I just didn’t care.
I stuck with it though, I usually like to finish books especially when they are for the book club, and within a few more chapters I was really enjoying it.
Yes it is a little on the predictable side, there are no great shocks when Eleanor’s backstory is revealed although it is terribly sad. Especially when you think that that story probably isn’t too far from the truth in some cases, and that horrible abuse happens far too often, and goes on for far too long before anyone ever does anything to stop it, if it ever does get stopped.
I really felt for Eleanor in the end, although I do hope that she remains friends only with Raymond rather that getting involved in a romance as seemed to be almost implied…
Apart from Eleanor herself all the other characters weren’t really that well developed, but that completely fits the book as it is told from her POV and she never really allowed other people to develop, to become people. They always seemed to remain whatever her 10 second judgement had been. They may have judged her, but she certainly judged them right back as well.