Mimi Jones Hedwig

Writer, Editor, Animal Advocate

Book review blog

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman

Posted by mhedwig on August 12, 2019 at 2:30 PM

Thirty year old Eleanor Oliphant, living alone and working as a finance clerk in Glasgow, is at first an infuriating prig, judgmental, superior, utterly oblivious to her off-putting effect on other people. A good-hearted IT guy from her office persists in trying to draw her out, and because of his efforts she begins to develop interpersonal relationships for the first time in her life. But she remains lonely and deeply hopeless. Weekly phone calls from her emotionally abusive mother continually erode her confidence and gradually reveal to the reader the horrors that this young woman has suffered in her childhood.


A crisis comes, after which Eleanor embarks on a course of therapy that gradually enables her to face the truth about her past and to absolve herself of blame. There's a shocking twist at the end. Ultimately we leave Eleanor confident that-- to paraphrase -- the little part of her scarred heart that's capable of love has stirred to life and will grow.


For all the devastating sadness in this book, there's a lot of humor, too. Truly the kind of book that makes you laugh, cry, and hope the writer delivers another novel very soon. 

Categories: Fiction