Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman [9/10]

What a beguiling, touching character Eleanor Oliphant is! Traumatised by a mysterious past, odd to the point of weird, yet luminously human, Eleanor romps through this comedy of manners or existential drama or love story or … you get the picture. One can situate the novel in the stream containing “A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” or “The Rosie Project,” a stream that’s notoriously difficult to nail stylistically, but Gail Honeyman (this is her debut!) immerses us so completely, we’re under her spell. The plot is simple – Eleanor’s regimented solo life is disrupted by falling in love with a distant pop star and a random act of compassion on her part – but swirls in unexpected directions and the climax offers not only twists but also completely solid logic. “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” is a treat and a triumph.

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