Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman #TuesdayBookBlog #amreading #Bookreviews

Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine is one of those exceptional, unsettling and ultimately uplifting novels a reader never forgets.

It’s a special novel that made me feel a multitude of contradictory and strong emotions; optimism, devastation, shock and joy, but overall enthusiasm and positive energy.

Eleanor is definitely not fine. The reader will walk in her shoes and gradually discover why she’s not fine and what, if anything, she can do about it.

Amazon UK Buy link

Eleanor is a unique and engaging narrator. She’s honest, naive and very lonely, and at the beginning she’s also insensitive and infuriating!

She’s hard-working and efficient, but lacks social skills, because she’s physically and emotionally scarred. There’s a dreadful reason for her detachment from others, which the reader suspects and is very gradually unveiled throughout the compelling narrative.

There are some twists in the story, mainly due to Eleanor’s unpredictable actions and reactions to events, but my main reason for turning the pages avidly was because I cared about Eleanor and hoped she would find a way to recover from her agony and alienation. 

In spite of the traumatic subject matter, it is an optimistic novel of hope, love and second chances. There is a great deal of comic relief, too, and a touching romance.

Eleanor is able to start moving on thanks to the unexpected friendship of a colleague and a wonderful case of serendipity. Sammy is an endearing character who has a short but vital role is Eleanor’s awakening and recovery.

Eleanor and Raymond are unforgettable characters brought to life in a unique and beautifully narrated, heart-wrenching story with an uplifting ending. I can’t stop recommending it to my friends.

****

According to Deadline.com Reese Witherspoon’s new company Hello Sunshine has set up to produce Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

****

Blurb

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . 

I listened to the audio version, which I really enjoyed, and now I have my paperback copy on my proud bookshelf, ready to be enjoyed all over again, because Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine is a truly wonderful novel to be read and reread.

Carrot Ranch #FlashFiction Challenge October 14: Serendipity

 This post was written in response to Charli Mills Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

october-14

October 14, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that reveals or explores a moment of serendipity. How did it come about? What did it lead to? You can express a character’s view of the moment or on serendipity in general. Use the element of surprise or show how it is unexpected or accidentally good.

For those of you who recognize, serendipity has been a prompt before. What can I say, but I like its magic! And it is never the same gift.

Respond by October 20, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

****

Everyone hopes for a lucky break, and many believe it will happen quite by chance. Others think they can nudge luck, just a bit, and force a lucky break.

Many successful people will tell us they were in the right place at the right time. Charlie suggests ‘serendipity is the gift we find accidentally when we make a choice or life chooses a course of action for us.’ But suppose there is no chance event, because one of the parts has planned for the event to take place, would it still be serendipity?

For example, imagine an author waiting for a lucky break, can he or she force a chance happening that will change his/her career forever?  In other words, can the happy accident be provoked or do we have to sit and wait for it to happen?

Marketing for self-published authors can be exasperating. The desperate author in this tongue-in-cheek flash fiction thinks he can fish for his lucky break. Do you agree?

****

Planning My Lucky Break

‘You’ve bought five hundred copies of your novel and left them lying around London?’

‘Strategically placed.’

‘Where would that be?’

‘On the underground, buses, theatres, museums, coffee shops, wine bars…’

‘That’s your marketing campaign?’

‘It is.’

‘But will anyone read them?’

‘Everyone likes books, especially commuters, art lovers, and people who drink wine and coffee.’

‘The question is, will you ever sell your books?’

‘It just takes one influential person to read it, love it, and spread the word. Just one.’ 

‘And if that one influential person doesn’t find it?’

‘Then I’ll buy another 500 and do it again.’

****

 

 

Read some of the other responses to this week’s prompt here.