Debut Sunday Times Bestseller and Costa First Novel Book Award winner.
Eleanor Oliphant is most definitely not completely fine, but she is one of the most unusual and thought-provoking fictional characters I have met. The human need for connection, initially scorned by Eleanor, is at the heart of this novel.
Eleanor Oliphant is instantly real. When we first meet her, she is socially awkward and neurotic, has a drinking habit and holds regular conversations with an evil, dominating mother. The life of an outsider is clearly captured. She keeps to her ordered, empty and lonely life without realising how bizarre and unhealthy it is.
When she and a co-worker accidentally become involved with assisting an elderly man in the street, Eleanor is exposed to new experiences and her world slowly and haltingly broadens. There is even a final twist which leaves the reader questioning a whole lot of what has gone before.
This book is quirky, funny at times, sad and shocking at others but always quite unpredictable. All of the characters are real and believable. The novel is full of kindness and warmth but also deep, unspoken sadness. It makes you want to reach out and include everyone – even the ones who everyone thinks is a bit weird.