I admit to struggling with this book at the beginning - - Eleanor just felt like such a bitter pill to swallow, but brilliantly, and I mean BRILLIANTLY, the author snuck her right into my heart. Aided by one of the best narrators ever, that slow build into caring meant that by the time all of Eleanor is revealed I was so tied into her life that when the book ended I felt like I was waving goodbye to a family member. Now that's good writing, and this is an amazing book. Please don't be like me and dismiss it too quickly. By the end you and Eleanor will both be fine.
I wasn't sure about this book at first. Started a bit slow for me. However, it turned out to be completely engaging. You find yourself rooting for Eleanor, laughing at her faux pas and being completely enamored with her. I found myself tearing up more than once during this story. This is a wonderful story of how a person with a difficult past can evolve, grow and become who they are truly meant to be. Raymond is a solid character who guides Eleanor on her path to being who she has always wanted and needed to be. This is an absolutely excellent book. I listen to my audio books while commuting and found myself not wanting to get out of the car on several occasions.
The publisher gives a great summary. Most of the other reviewers concur with my judgment that this is a must-read story that you just won't ever forget. Truly delightful but with a big dab of the bittersweet. Yes, it has some tough emotional moments but that is what makes it multi-dimensional and wonderful.
Who is Eleanor Oliphant? She keeps to herself, preferring her own company in all situations. She is prim and proper, has strong beliefs about good manners and such. She dresses a bit oddly, probably looks like your dowdy old aunt, but is in fact, a young lady. Eleanor has experienced very little of life, at least, its good parts. Her childhood has been very dark and she is still dominated by Mommy, whom she talks with every week. Eleanor is very intelligent yet could be described as a self-contained island.
But things are about to change, starting with a bikini wax--OUCH! And more importantly, an IT guy with sloppy clothing and even poorer hygiene, who somehow worms his way into Eleanor's life after they both observe an elderly gentleman fall and injure himself on the sidewalk by work. The two come to his rescue--Eleanor would have ignored the incident but is guilted into becoming involved by co-worker, Raymond.
That is really all you need to know about this audiobook. It is best to go into this story with as little information as possible and enjoy it as the surprises unfold.
After a slowish start, I became mesmerized and couldn't get the story out of my head. I didn't want to stop listening and yet I didn't want to finish it, either.
Narration was perfection. How lucky for author Honeyman to get such a talented performer as McCarron to read her first novel.
This is one of the good ones, folks. Don't miss it!