Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I loved this book and its main character so much! Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a tale of loneliness and trying to overcome childhood trauma, a story of not fitting in and not understanding why. I don't want to give anything away by detailing her struggles and their outcome, but the story grabbed me immediately and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen.

I sympathized with Eleanor even though I could see why other characters often found her odd or difficult. As author Gail Honeyman said in an interview with The Bookseller: "I thought it was important that Eleanor was never self-pitying, because I think as a reader that is when you lose sympathy for a character. Even if [a character] has been through horrendous experiences, if they are seen as self-pitying, it’s a very distancing thing. She’s broken but she’s not destroyed. She’s a survivor of it all."

The backstory of how Honeyman came to write the book is an exciting tale in itself (to anyone who's ever dreamed of writing a book, anyway). As she told The Bookseller, it took two years of early mornings writing before work, then writing again at lunch in a cafe. She even took a writing course. Then she entered some chapters for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize which she didn't win, but it grabbed the attention of an agent before the book was even finished. 

Reese Witherspoon optioned the movie rights. Though not much has happened on that front, it sounds like the project is still in play. What's more, the book has great word-of-mouth, often popping up on many reviewers' recommended reading lists. I don't even know Gail Honeyman, but I'm so excited for her! I look forward to seeing what she writes next. 

Note: I read this book awhile back at at time when I'd taken a break from blogging. I reviewed it for Goodreads at the time, and decided to belatedly add the review of this wonderful book here as well.

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