Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Missing Piece

 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a beautiful, powerful and incredibly heart breaking contemporary novel. My emotions were shot to pieces.

The reader will mourn a lost childhood and the events that produced a hurting adult. Loneliness hovers like a cloud over the novel. It is a loneliness that comes from feeling unworthy to be liked or associated with.

Words spoken over us remain for good or bad. If we continually hear negative words, we will believe what they say. We will look in a mirror and see ourselves as ugly because that is what we are conditioned to believe. Beauty is not as simple as inner or outer beauty. Beauty is also a state of mind.

The hand of friendship is extended. It is cautiously received and beautiful to watch the unfolding. Kindness goes hand in hand with friendship. It is a kindness that needs no words but says ‘I see you and you matter.’

There are the difficult topics of abuse, alcohol dependency, depression and suicidal thoughts. These are all sensitively portrayed.

Having spent many years working with teens with autism, I recognized the autistic tendencies of the lead character. Taking things literally and speaking one’s mind did create amusing moments for the reader. Being written in the first person means the reader becomes intimately acquainted with Eleanor Oliphant.

Pets are therapeutic. I loved the inclusion of a rescue cat in need of love and care.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is a work of great beauty and great sadness. I can certainly see why it won Costa’s Book Of The Year 2017. I am looking forward to reading more by Gail Honeyman.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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