The Official Book Club Guide: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

The Official Book Club Guide: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
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An essential tool for all reading groups – a detailed guide to Sunday Times Number One bestseller, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine!A comprehensive guide to Gail Honeyman's acclaimed bestseller, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, this discussion aid includes a wealth of information and resources: useful literary context; an author biography; a plot synopsis; analyses of themes & imagery; character analysis; twenty-two thought-provoking discussion questions; recommended further reading and even a quick quiz.This companion guide takes the hard work out of preparing for meetings and guarantees productive discussion. For solo readers, it encourages a deeper examination of a rich and rewarding text.


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The Official Book Club Guide: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine


Published by HarperColl‌insPublishers Ltd

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

First published in Great Britain by HarperCollinsPublishers 2018

Copyright to extracts from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine © Gail Honeyman 2017

Copyright © Kathyrn Cope 2018

Cover design: Holly MacDonald © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2018

Kathryn Cope asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Ebook Edition © May 2018 ISBN: 9780008309732

Version 2018-04-23

There are few things more rewarding than getting together with a group of like-minded people and discussing a good book. Book club meetings, at their best, are vibrant, passionate affairs. Each member will bring along a different perspective and ideally there will be heated debate.

A surprising number of book club members, however, report that their meetings have been a disappointment. Even though their group loved the particular book they were discussing, they could think of astonishingly little to say about it. Failing to find interesting discussion angles for a book is the single most common reason for book group discussions to fall flat. Most book groups only meet once a month and a lacklustre meeting is frustrating for everyone.

HarperCollins Reading Group Guides were born out of a passion for reading groups. Packed with information, they take the hard work out of preparing for a meeting and ensure that your book group discussions never run dry. How you choose to use the guides is entirely up to you. The author biography and style sections provide useful background information which may be interesting to share with your group at the beginning of your meeting. The all-important list of discussion questions, which will probably form the core of your meeting, can be found towards the end of this guide. To support your responses to the discussion questions, you may find it helpful to refer to the ‘themes’ and ‘character’ sections.

A detailed plot synopsis is provided as an aide-memoire if you need to recap on the finer points of the plot. There is also a quick quiz – a fun way to test your knowledge and bring your discussion to a close. Finally, if this was a book that you particularly enjoyed, the guide concludes with a list of books similar in style or subject matter.

Be warned, this guide contains spoilers. Please do not be tempted to read it before you have read the original novel as plot surprises will be well and truly ruined.

Gail Honeyman’s debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, won the Costa First Novel Award 2017.

As a work in progress, it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. Since publication, translation rights have sold to over thirty territories worldwide, Reese Witherspoon has optioned it for film and it was chosen as one of the Observer’s Debuts of the Year for 2017. Gail was also awarded the Scottish Book Trust’s Next Chapter Award in 2014, and has been longlisted for BBC Radio 4’s Opening Lines and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Gail lives in Glasgow.

Part One – Good Days

Twenty-nine-year-old Eleanor Oliphant works as a finance clerk in Glasgow, Scotland. Although she has been employed by the same company for nine years, Eleanor has no friends at work. Her colleagues view her as an oddball due to her eccentric dress and unconventional manner.

Eleanor’s weekends are spent alone watching documentaries and drinking vodka. Her only social contact is a once-weekly conversation with Mummy, who seems to be incarcerated either in prison, or in a hospital for the mentally ill.

One evening, Eleanor attends a pub charity night after winning tickets for the event from a work raffle. A local band (the Pilgrim Pioneers) are playing and Eleanor instantly falls in love with the lead singer. Handsome and immaculately dressed, Johnnie Lomond appears to meet all the criteria her mother told her she should look for in a man.

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