The name of the book is what caught my eye first while I was scrolling down my Goodreads feed. A quick look into it and I found that it had some good ratings. I was on the lookout for books for the Reading Challenge 2019 at the time and immediately added the book to my list.
It was to be the third book I would complete this year, but I left the book pending reading after the first few chapters. It took me a while to complete it and ultimately it ended up being the 4th book to complete this year.
This book, by a debut writer Gail Honeyman, has been highly acclaimed and well-liked by many. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be honest about my opinion about it. Although I loved the premise and the writing style of the book tremendously, it felt kind of exaggerated at times.
The story begins with the introduction of Eleanor who is an awkward young woman who lives a lonely existence. Her weekly routine is set to a perfect timetable with even weekend events planned to the last detail, which includes a lot of vodka and plenty of alone time. Her weekly conversation with her mom being a part of that routine.
Her past slowly unravels itself throughout the story. There are some funny moments during her journey from an office misfit to a stylishly made out person. She seems oblivious to McDonald’s, Starbucks, Spongebob Squarepants, and smokey eye makeup before the transformation happens. She is an intelligent person, who gets promoted to being a manager, who loves doing crosswords, who has attended college and is well read before that transformation and that leaves you wondering about the innocent naivety of it all.
Her chance encounter with a handsome singer is the reason behind her makeover. Her journey through that chase and her newly developing friendship with a colleague follow a series of heartwarming situations and relationships. But her conflicting narrative of herself and her story leaves a feeling of incompleteness in the reader.
For me, it felt as though the plot was there, a story was written, but then a lot more was added in between to elaborate something that wasn’t meant to be there initially. The twists in the story were highly predictable too. So much so, that I hoping to be wrong, just to justify the 4 stars that I am giving the book.
It was a quick read once I crossed the first quarter of the book. But the book needs time to grow on you. At least this has been my experience with it.
You can find the list of my books for the Reading Challenge here.