Occasionally you have the privilege of reading a book that warms your heart and just makes you think the world does turn out for people. This a witty book around a character we can all relate to, the odd one out. Whilst we may not be that person we can relate to them.
The book of choice
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
Why this book?
The debut novel that became a publishing sensation, has been named Debut Book of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2018. Honeyman wrote the book during her lunch breaks and was delighted to have 8 competing publishing houses go into a bidding war to win the book. With a 6 figure advance she quit her civil service job. The book has sold over 450,000 copies in 30 countries.
Gail Honeyman had dreamt of becoming an author. She entered fiction competition but despite not winning one of the judges was a literary agent who signed her up. You could call it a midlife crisis but I prefer to believe that it was simply a woman who hadn’t achieved all that she wanted to achieve in life and went after it. Long after the dream of being a primer ballerina is over, being a writer doesn’t have an expiry date. This dream finally became the priority over all else and look where the dream landed.
Why should you read it?
The central character is that odd bod that every office has. Often found in accounts payable, the person who sits outside normal social circumstances. As the book progresses Eleanor gets largely included in a web of characters who increasingly become a greater part of her life. There is a twist at the end with the moral that it is never too late to find your happy ending for any of us.
Eleanor is hilarious and it is impossible to feel anything other than protective affection for her. You will cringe at her awkwardness and you will find yourself reminding yourself that nothing matters I this world other than kindness. This is a fabulous read with delightful characters. It is irresistibly welcoming and warming. It’s like a toasty winter fire, compelling and wrapping you in its warmth. An easy read that will keep you in a joyful holiday mood.