Quirky, heartwarming books seem to be more abundant than ever and I couldn’t be happier. I generally will read anything that the Pamela Dorman imprint puts out. She finds a lot of these quirky books and is responsible for some bestselling authors you may have heard of, like Luanne Rice and Jojo Moyes, and one of my favorite books, Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal.
Eleanor Oliphant lives alone. She has some personality quirks, to say the least, and speaks to her mother on the phone every Wednesday night. It is never a pleasant conversation. She works in an office and has no friends or social life. My first assumption was that she was somewhere on the autism spectrum – but you know what they say happens when one assumes.
One day Raymond, the new IT guy, stops by her desk and is friendly. She doesn’t know quite what to make of him but agrees to have lunch with him, even though it disrupts her routine. They go outside and see an old man fall down. Raymond rushes to help but he is passed out, so they call for help and ride with him to the hospital.
That tenous connection is enough for Raymond and Eleanor to become friends, a new experience for Eleanor. Raymond is the perfect friend for Eleanor, easy going and undemanding. Eventually as they get to know each other, we get to know them too, especially Eleanor, and realize that she has had a horrendous life. It slowly unfurls as we get drawn deeper into her world, until the whole truth comes out. Raymond is there for her throughout and we can’t help but root for him to win the girl, damaged though she may be.
A lovely, funny novel that is truly unique and memorable. Don’t miss it.
6/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman. Pamela Dorman Books (May 9, 2017). ISBN 978-0735220683. 336p.