What we’re reading...

13 May 2020
Account Manager Lauren McMahon has been reading “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman.

I’m a bit late to the party in reading this, but this book gets a solid five stars from me.  

Gail Honeyman’s debut novel follows the story of Eleanor Oliphant, who as the title suggests, is completely fine. Not content, not happy, simply fine.

She lives in Glasgow and works as a finance clerk for a graphic design agency. She has no friends, no close connections, and on Friday evenings, she goes home and does not speak to a single person until Monday morning when she travels back to work.

She’s a social misfit in her late 20s, haunted by a traumatic past.

This book is heavy, in that it deals with alcoholism, foster care experiences, childhood trauma and extreme loneliness, but somewhere, amongst everything, it’s one of the most heart-warming books you will ever read.

Eleanor’s day-to-day existence is marred extreme loneliness, that is until she meets new colleague, Raymond Gibbins, and they witness an elderly man collapse in the street. I won’t say too much more as I don’t want to give anything away.

Contrary to a lot of reviews I’ve read and conversations with friends I’ve had about this book, it drew me in from the first chapter and I had to find out what was going to happen next.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine reminds us of a human’s innate need for connection. Love and belonging are third on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We need friendship, family, connection in order to thrive.

And most of all, it reinforces the notion that we do not know what others are going through or have lived through, so be kind, always.