I was surprised to learn that this book is a debut novel, as it feels like a book written by a seasoned author. The characters are well-thought out and three-dimensional. While this book is told from Eleanor’s point of view, it was also refreshing to read about her male friend, Raymond, who’s genuinely a great guy from start to finish. Most of the time, you see an instant-love romance thrown in Women’s Literature. Gail Honeyman allowed her characters to grow and develop a relationship in a very natural, realistic way. Bravo!! The author really surprised me with this. Yes, men and women CAN be friends!!!
Another thing I enjoyed is Eleanor isn’t always a very likable person. However, by writing her this way, I REALLY enjoyed listening to her story. Eleanor felt real, almost in an Asperger’s syndrome kind of way. She says what she thinks, even if it’s not completely appropriate. She is socially awkward, but some of her “quirks” are what made her such an enjoyable character.
I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone. Without saying too much, Eleanor Oliphant is NOT fine at the beginning of this story. Not at all! But she works her way to better by the end of the book. I enjoyed that, too! No magic wand fixes. She has to work on getting emotionally healthy and she needs a strong support system to do this.
This book really has two endings. The first ending comes when Eleanor says goodbye to her mother. The final ending happens where it should be, at the end of the story. Since I was troubled by the first ending, I was afraid the true ending of this tale wouldn’t be emotionally satisfying. Rest assured, the book ends at a good place with all the “feels.”
My book club rarely agrees on books. If we have twenty people in our group, we’ll get twenty different opinions. However, it seems fairly unanimous, we all liked this book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys coming of age stories…for adults. This book had a lot of fantastic characters and nobody jumps into bed with anyone else. The characters actually develop relationships. YAY!!!!