And now for something completely different.
My reading "safe zone" is Thrillers, Mysteries, and Romance with a few YA's thrown in for variety. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is way more literary fiction than I usually go for, but I truly enjoyed the change of pace.
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
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.
First, the book is set in Scotland. But every-day-normal-people-Scotland, not Outlander Scotland. My husband and I have recently become obsessed with the The Great British Bake Off. So those were the voices I heard in my head as a read this.
Eleanor takes a while to get used to as a character. In the beginning it's hard to tell if she has something atypical about her or if she's just being rude. As the character shifts and the backstory is revealed the reasons for her behavior become clear, but I was still left wondering.
It is kind of a love story, but not really. It is full of emotion and the side characters draw you in even if Eleanor herself doesn't.
I would recommend Eleanor Oliphant (And yes, autocorrect, I mean OLIPHANT. Not ELEPHANT. Leave me alone. I know what I'm doing!) to my friends who enjoy a slower-paced plot sprinkled with off-beat humor.
It looks like Reese Witherspoon's production company has picked up the rights to the movie. I'd be willing to check that out. Maybe do a movie vs book review.
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