Double Book Review!: Eleanor Oliphant & What Alice Forgot
With everything going on in the world right now, I have been so distracted.
Quarantine brain is REAL.
But it’s time to get things rolling again, so today I have a double book review!
For the month of March, we read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
This one is a new personal favorite! A Top Five, for sure.
It’s a book about what it means to be lonely, which is something I think we can all empathize with as we’re just now emerging from sheltering in place. Eleanor is awkward and standoffish and honestly clueless when it comes to social niceties, but the more you learn about why she is the way she is, the more you want to root for her.
The author does a fantastic job of showing you (not telling you-it never comes across as preachy or moralistic) how what you see is not always what you get, and that while genuine human connections can be frustrating and messy, a little bit of kindness goes a long way.
There is a love interest angle for fans of romance, but Eleanor is no damsel in distress-this is really a story about a woman who saves herself. There is also a twist at the end that I definitely did NOT see coming. Not to mention, that for a novel about someone who is clinically depressed, this book has some truly laugh out loud funny moments. Absolutely a 10/10.
For April, we read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. While Moriarty has become best known for her mystery/thriller writing chops after the success of Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret, What Alice Forgot has a little bit of everything-mystery, family drama, romance, humor, and the big ‘what-if?’ You won’t be able to help but feel introspective after reading it.
The premise-a woman with amnesia who’s forgotten the last 10 years of her life- might sound a little clichéd, but the writing is not. Moriarty successfully ties the story together through multiple perspectives and flashbacks so that you get a full sense of just what it is that Alice is missing-the pacing of this story feels natural, not rushed or like the author is trying to word-vomit exposition.
All of the women in this story are struggling to find their way back to themselves through anger and grief, and they all take very different paths to get there. But the sweetness of the ending is that they DO find a way back-not exactly to who they were before, but to a truer version of themselves, and to each other. In Alice, Moriarty has managed a tremendously satisfying conclusion that will make you sigh with relief, and the perfect feel-good quarantine read.
Both of these titles are excellent if you are just CRAVING a little bit of escapism right now. And both come with some subtle reminders to appreciate all the little things that make life sweet.
Stay well, everyone! Happy Reading!