Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Page Count: 327
Publishing Date/Publisher: May 9, 2017 by Viking/Pamela Dorman Books
Review: I can safely say that in my long illustrious career as a bookworm, I have never read a book quite like this one. When I first started reading it, I was not sure how I felt about the first person style, but by the end of the first couple chapters I was hooked. This author has an incredible way of revealing so much of the story through subtext. It is clear that the narrator does not understand when she is making a social faux pas, yet the reader is acutely aware of her blunder. There is some argument among readers about whether this lack of awareness is attributed to undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder or internalized trauma. I think both explanations are plausible, and perhaps it is a mixture of both. I think part of the brilliance of the writing is that Eleanor is clearly an unreliable narrator, and yet so much can be gleaned about Eleanor’s motivators by reading between the lines. I was perfectly happy to bumble along with Eleanor, who’s actions and reactions to situations were both cringey and oddly relatable. The full extent of Eleanor’s trauma is not revealed until the end of the book, but the real value is in watching Eleanor’s personality slowly unfurl past her carefully constructed barriers. This book demonstrates the power of unconditional love and the importance of relationships, both of which Eleanor sadly lacked in her life up until this point. I found Eleanor’s character to be charming in her own way, and sometimes her inner monologue made me laugh out loud. She is extremely intelligent and her perception of the world is unique and unencumbered by social norms. All in all, I loved this book and I think it is well deserving of the attention it has garnered.