The covers are of very little help, because they always say only good things, and I’ve found out to my cost that they’re rarely accurate. ‘Exhilarating’ ‘Dazzling’ ‘Hilarious’. No.’
I read this line in ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman and was sure to include this book if I ever wrote about book covers.
Once it was published in 2017, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ was quite a sensation. At that point, everyone around me was recommending this book. So, I bought it irrespective of the book cover based on the rave reviews it received.
Amongst the great reviews for the book, was Jojo Moyes’ words, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is a truly original literary creation: funny, touching, and unpredictable. Her journey out of dark shadows is expertly woven and absolutely gripping.’
‘Funny, touching, and unpredictable’ is written on the cover of the UK edition. For once with conviction, I can say that every bit of ‘funny, touching, and unpredictable‘ in appreciation of this book is correct!
My copy of the book has burnt match sticks placed to look like a house against a white background. This is the UK cover which was tremendously appreciated for this unique design. An unfortunate incident from Eleanor’s childhood leaves her with a scar on one side of the face. The match sticks hint at the climax of the story and symbolically stands true to Eleanor’s life.
Now coming to the book cover of the US edition, the colour palette on the cover with the orange shirt and brown skirt picture version of Eleanor without her face actually impressed me. I felt this headless picture could very well fit any woman who goes through sadness, low times and even serious mental illness. Though, I must admit Eleanor in the book is more of a white shirt and black skirt with a jerkin kind.
ELEanor OliPHANT is an intelligent name for the protagonist chosen by the author. She hints at the elephant in the room that no one is willing to address. When the book begins, Eleanor is thirty-years-old living alone following a mundane work routine and is socially awkward.
‘If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.‘
And, miraculously a perfectly normal, everyday sentence turns into something deeper. As the book deals with a woman’s social isolation and loneliness, it becomes important to have that image on the cover for the readers to relate with.
What do you think, which book cover impressed you more? Do write to me in the comments section.
If you liked reading this post and want to read a book review of ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman, you can click HERE.