Actually, she’s not "fine". But this novel about a very unusual woman combines humor, tragedy, depression, and self-awareness into compulsive reading.

Eleanor Oliphant is a woman with a tragic past, stuck in a quiet job. Perhaps “stuck” isn’t the right word, because she is perfectly satisfied with the dead-end job, with no friends and her only social life being weekly calls from her supremely abusive mother. With her burn-scarred face and no understanding of how other people think or speak, she is content being invisible all week and drunk all weekend.

Talked into attending a rock gig at a music bar, she gets a sudden crush on the lead singer and determines she will change herself completely to attract this “perfect” man. Her attempts at a bikini wax, make-over, and clumsy clothes shopping provide a lot of humor, although at the same time you wonder more and more – what happened in her past to get her into this condition?

When Raymond, an unkempt but big hearted computer IT man at her company, takes an interest in her, her life begins to change in other ways. While walking down the street, they see an old man collapse and call emergency services. The man, Sammy, when he recovers insists they meet his family, and Eleanor’s world begins to grow. A great laugh-and-cry novel.

IndyPL_SteveB's rating:
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