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RFM Bookshelf: “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”

Members of the RFM team share books they’ve recently enjoyed. Maybe you will, too! 

“Easily the most delightful book I’ve read all year.”

That’s what a friend of mine posted on Facebook about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman’s 2017 debut novel. 

Eleanor Oliphant, the novel’s protagonist and narrator, lives in Glascow. She’s in her late twenties, socially awkward, an alcoholic, a victim of child abuse and domestic abuse – and yes, an absolute delight. 

Eleanor spends most weekends alone with her vodka, but after she attends a local concert, she falls hard for the lead singer of the band. To prepare for what she imagines will be their eventual first date, Eleanor follows the singer on Twitter, has a bikini wax, and visits a makeup counter for what she thinks is an appointment with the Bobbi Brown.  

When our heroine makes a friend through work and begins to interact with the community around her, Honeyman’s expert writing transforms everyday activities – dancing at a wedding, buying a get-well gift, and adopting a cat – into literary masterpiece.      

Smart, warm, heartbreaking, and relatively short, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the kind of book someone could finish in a single sitting. 

The first pick of Reese Witherspoon’s book club, the title is perfect for any introvert or weirdo … like, I don’t know – your mom? (P.S. I can say this: My daughter bought it for me as a gift!)   

Karen Schwartzkopf has her dream job as managing editor of RFM. Wife, mother, arts and sports lover, she lives and works in the West End with her family, including husband Scott, who not coincidentally is RFM’s creative director. You can read Karen’s take on parenting her three daughters – Sam, Robin, and Lindsey, also known as the women-children – in the Editor’s Voice.

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