What a treat.
The Book: What’s it about?
This extraordinary novel has won best seller awards and been praised for its literary originality and for being acutely perceptive,endearing and also funny. I cannot disagree.
This is what it says on the inside cover of the book:
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?
An astonishing story that powerfully depicts the loneliness of life, and the simple power of a little kindness
The Audiobook: my review
A truly positive immersive experience: I loved it!
I chose to listen to this book on the recommendation of my daughter, and it’s been on my wish list for several months. Being a writer can sometimes take up most of my time, so listening to a wonderful story while I’m pottering around catching up with the mundane chores is always a treat.
Narrator Cathleen McCarron inhabits Eleanor, she is Eleanor Oliphant. The book is written in the first person and therefore we are treated to an intimate insight into Eleanor’s world.
Set in Glasgow the story takes you to work with Eleanor, into her home and her routines, and allows you to understand, to a degree, how much Eleanor’s understanding of human behaviour differs from what is broadly accepted as being the norm. How she deals with relationships, lack of them, and new experiences in an attempt to ‘fit in’, as well as learning about herself – is depicted with sensitivity and gentle humour.
What a superb job the narrator does and justice is truly done to the magnificent writing of Gail Honeyman. Not once did I drop out of the story or feel let down. Just the opposite in fact. This audiobook is a tonic.
As an added bonus there’s an interview between the narrator and the author at the end of the audio. Very enlightening.
I may have to listen to this particular audiobook several more times. Like a favourite film, this one will stay with me and be repeated.
Five stars without hesitation. Alison Morgan