Book of the Month: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant

Gail Honeyman's award winning debut novel is about loneliness, friendship and the extraordinary world of Eleanor Oliphant

About the book

Our first book of the year has sold to over 30 countries, was snapped up for a film by Reese Witherspoon within days of publication and has recently won the Costa First Book Award – not bad for a debut from an author who became a full-time author in her 40s. So why has the book created such a buzz and does it live up to it’s hype? We believe it does. It’s a unique and life-affirming book that perfectly depicts the loneliness of life and the power of kindness, seamlessly mixing pathos with laughter and drawing the reader into the strange and extraordinary world of the narrator, Eleanor Oliphant.

Buy the book now for £3.99

About the author


Gail Honeyman wrote her debut at same time as holding down a full-time job, fitting writing into early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays. While it was still a work-in-progress, she won the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award, which included a writing retreat at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre – an opportunity to spend uninterrupted time working on the book. She lives in Glasgow.

Gail says: “I'm absolutely thrilled that Mumsnet has chosen Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine for this month's book club. Looking forward to discussing it with you later in the month”

What our bloggers thought

Five Little Doves

five little doves
“Gail Honeyman draws in the reader in such a way that when you finish that final page, you are left feeling as though you have said goodbye to an old friend.”
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Helpful Mum

helpful mummy blog “Eleanor Oliphant is such a wonderful character and I am sure that we all see some of ourselves in her. It's not easy navigating life as an adult at the best of times, and Eleanor does it with awkward grace and order.”

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Hi Baby blog

Hi baby blog “One of the integral themes of the book is loneliness, as you read it and get to know the principle characters I think it becomes clear that all of them are lonely in their own way. It’s almost like a spectrum of misery actually, I think Honeyman is holding up a mirror to society with that one.”

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Island Living 365

Island living 365 blog “This book arrived just as I was moving house, yet I couldn’t put the book down. I devoured this novel, surrounded by the carnage of a house move. I might have been sat amongst boxes and boxes but this book transported me to Glasgow and Eleanor’s world, a world that at first feels very lonely and bleak.”

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Max and Mummy

max and mummy blog “The heartbreak and pangs of loneliness weaved in with the uplifting notes of the supporting characters really hit home as to what humans can really be like. It turned out to be one of those perfectly balanced books that was truly unforgettable.”

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Tattooed Tealady

tattooed tealady blog “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a book I devoured with gusto, not wanting to put it down, reading until the early hours of the morning. The ending, specifically the last chapter, left me shocked, with an unexpected twist which really makes an impact and finishes this book off perfectly.”

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Get involved

If you're interested in joining us, do grab yourself a copy. Or first, check out the book by reading or listening to an extract.

Read Chapter 1 of Eleanor Oliphant

Author webchat

Gail Honeyman will be joining us to discuss the book during a webchat at the end of February (date tbc). We'll announce more details on our Book of the Month Talk topic.

New to Mumsnet Book Club? Find out how it works, and what we'll be reading in the next few months

Book prices correct at time of publication