A review by wanderaven
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman


Midway through the excellent audiobook of this, I was so excited about it that I went against my better judgment and looked up some goodreads reviews. On the whole, it seems well received, but I have a couple friends in whose bookish opinions I trust for whom this didn't work. This surprised me but then I considered that had I been in a different mindset or possibly even not listening to the audiobook, I might just as easily been turned away.

I'm not sure why this is; I suppose it feels like the reader needs to be in a certain frame of mind to stick with such a character; for me, the payoff was definitely worth it. Eleanor is a character I loved getting to know, to grow to understand and empathize with her. I loved how her backstory was revealed. I wasn't terribly surprised by any of the twists, particularly the one that came in the final few pages, but I'm not sure that it mattered - this story feels more about the loneliness of a vulnerable person and how she relates to the world. Her actions aren't excused, necessarily, by her history, but it's easy to understand why she does as she does, and her transition into a kinder, more empathic person seems believable and smooth to me.

The audiobook is excellently narrated. For some reason, I was convinced that this wasn't Honeyman's first book and was disappointed to discover that it was. I will eagerly await what comes next!