Since its debut, Gail Honeyman’s bestseller Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine has captured hearts and charmed laughs out of readers. Eleanor’s eccentric personality and awkward social skills are an ode to introverts everywhere, and as she forms unlikely friendships and unravels her trauma, you can’t help but root for her.
If you’re looking for more stories about improbable human ties, unpacking complicated pasts, and finding ways to laugh despite it all, check out these 20 best books like Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette follows agoraphobic matriarch Bernadette Fox as she does the impossible: vanishes.
Her daughter, 15-year-old Bee, is determined to find her. With only emails and her mother’s guarded correspondences, Bee sets out on her trail, learning that while her mother is her best friend, she still doesn’t know everything about her.
With a hilarious and heartfelt plot, this novel will satisfy your craving for unusual protagonists and mother-daughter relationships.
Find your copy here.
Convenience Store Woman by Sakaya Murata
Sakaya Murata’s Convenience Store Woman features thirty-six-year-old Keiko Furukura, who, like Eleanor, has never quite fit in. Yet somehow, Smile Mart feels like home for Keiko. As coworkers come and go, Keiko stays and copies their mannerisms to be ‘normal.’ Soon, though, pressure mounts for Keiko to find a husband, and her life as she knows it is in jeopardy.
Sharp and unusual, Convenience Store Woman will be a relief for anyone who has ever defied pressure to conform.
You can find the novel here.
Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
Venture to Dublin, Ireland in Eggshells and be prepared for a laugh-out-loud look into friendship and finding yourself.
Vivian is determined to make a friend, and in true eccentric fashion, wants one named Penelope. She places an ad, and soon, receives an answer. After Vivian meets her Penelope, everything changes.
Follow Vivian’s hilarious journey when you pick up Eggshells here.
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
In Sarah Haywood’s The Cactus, we meet Susan Green just as her greatest fear comes true: she has no control over her life.
Susan lost her mother, and now, is unexpectedly expecting a baby. As she tries to juggle her once-perfectly-ordered life and impending motherhood, she meets questionable but well-intentioned Rob. They strike up an improbable friendship, and if Susan comes to terms with losing control, she might gain something else.
Laugh out loud as you follow Susan’s story, located here.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
For readers seeking quirky protagonists like Eleanor, Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient is a must.
Like Eleanor, Stella is dedicated to her job but struggles to have a life beyond it. Stella has Asperger’s. She also has less dating experience than your typical thirty-year-old. Her solution? Hire a professional to practice. Escort Michael Phan fills the role, and soon, their perfunctory relationship has feelings attached.
Grab a copy of The Kiss Quotient here.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Like Eleanor and Stella, Chloe Brown is ready to escape her isolated life.
Introverted, chronically ill computer nerd Chloe has a plan: get a life. After she leaves her family’s mansion, she has six more steps on her get-a-life list. From riding a motorcycle to no-strings-attached sex, Chloe is ready to experience all the world has to offer. And when handyman Red Morgan joins her quest, soon, feelings between them spark.
Join Chloe on her heartwarming and humorous quest to “get a life” when you grab your copy here.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
For Ph.D. candidate Olive Smith, dating is just another science—one she isn’t overly interested in.
Unfortunately for Olive, her best friend is determined to set Olive up. Naturally, Olive kisses the first man she sees to stave off her friend’s efforts. Except the man she kisses is hotshot professor Adam Carlsen, and he has a reputation for arrogance. But soon, their improbable relationship blossoms into something less-than-scientific, and Olive discovers love isn’t so formulaic.
Pick up your copy of The Love Hypothesis here.
Anxious People by Fredrick Backman
Have you ever wanted to grow closer with your neighbors-to-be? An ill-advised but unusual method features in Fredrick Backman’s Anxious People.
When a failed bank robber takes hostages at an apartment open house, secrets and quirks come to light within the unusual situation. Although they’re different on the surface, everyone in the apartment is looking to find themselves. Who knew they’d do it together?
You can pick up Anxious People here.
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
Before you meet Elsie, you’ll want to meet 84-year-old Florence. After a fall, all Florence can do is wait for rescue and reminisce on her lifelong friend, Elsie. The two women share a secret, and since the appearance of a new resident at Florence’s nursing home, Florence fears their conspiracy may come to light.
Witty yet warm, Three Things About Elsie illustrates the depths to which friendship can go.
See if Florence’s secrets are revealed when you pick up the novel here.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
For fans of Eleanor’s complicated past, E. Lockhart We Were Liars offers the perfect blend of family bonds and unlocked trauma.
The story follows a wealthy family on their private islands and a group of four friends—the Liars. As their friendship sours, an accident spurs the creation of a secret. You’ll never guess the consequences or how it ends.
To discover the answer for yourself, find We Were Liars here.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
You may have heard of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s runaway hits, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six, but her 2021 novel, Malibu Rising, packs just as much of a punch.
Like We Were Liars, Malibu Rising is an excellent choice for fans of family sagas. The novel follows the Riva siblings—Nina, Hudson, Jay, and Kit—as they throw their annual party that sparks Hollywood gossip until the next year. But as they prepare for the party, we get a glimpse into their tragic past, and eventually, learn why Nina leads the uptight lifestyle that she does.
Fall in love with the Riva family when you pick up Malibu Rising here.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Fates and families mix in Celeste Ng’s hit novel, Little Fires Everywhere.
Elena Richard plays by the rules of her suburbs, and single mother Mia Warren arrives to shatter them all. Already, Mia’s mysterious past haunts the town, but when a fierce debate breaks out, Elena and Mia oppose each other. Now, Elena is desperate to know the truth about Mia, no matter what it costs.
Once you begin Little Fires Everywhere, you won’t want to put it down. Find it here.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Three women—sharp-tongued Madeline, gorgeous Celeste, and single mom Jane—couldn’t be more different, but a tragic accident that could be murder links their lives inextricably.
The story masquerades as a simple murder mystery, but there’s more than meets the eye. Liane Moriarty explores themes of mother-daughter relationships, friendship, and how small lies can grow beyond control.
And that final reveal? You’ll want to read it for yourself here.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
For a thrilling take on an uprooted stagnant life, look no further than The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.
The most consistent part of Rachel’s life is the train she takes every day. All is monotonous—that is, until she sees a flash of something terrible. Now, she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mystery she encountered, even if it means destroying the lives of everyone involved.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient is a suspenseful and thrilling addition to the collection of intriguing female protagonists.
Wildly famous Alicia Berenson had it all until she inexplicably murdered her husband. Now, she refuses to speak at all. When Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, catches wind of the case, he knows his task is to make Alicia talk, even if he’s entirely unprepared for what she might say.
Find out the answer alongside Theo when you grab The Silent Patient here.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
Genetics professor Don is looking for true love. His only problem? He blunders through every social interaction, and in his love life, can’t seem to get his feet under him.
Graeme Simson creates a sharp yet upbeat love story that defies Don’s beloved rationality. The Rosie Project is an excellent selection if you’re looking for similarities to Eleanor’s awkward quest for love.
You can find The Rosie Project here.
Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi
Sam and Penny don’t have a meet-cute: it’s awkward at best, and nobody expects them to get along. Penny is determined to reinvent herself as a writer in college, and Sam lives paycheck-to-paycheck, unsure what he wants to do with his life. But the two swap their most intimate secrets and anxieties, and soon, an unlikely friendship shifts to something more.
Clever and compulsively readable, you can find Emergency Contact here.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney’s Normal People is a must-read for fans of unlikely friendships and explorations of how opposites attract.
Connell and Marianne orbit each other and eventually collide when they start a conversation. They couldn’t be more different: Connell is the golden boy of their small town, and Marianne keeps to herself. Yet the story flips when they go to the same college. Marianne has a large circle of friends, while Connell lingers at social edges. Still, the orbit continues, and over the years, they must decide what they mean to each other.
Find Normal People here.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
From BookTok phenom Emily Henry comes People We Meet on Vacation, a novel about unlikely duos and a decade-long vacation pact.
Poppy and Alex are opposites in every sense, yet still, they sustain their long-distance friendship by joining on an annual summer vacation. That is until Poppy ruined everything. She knows to repair the friendship, it’ll take one last vacation. And when Alex agrees, she’s determined not to lose him for good.
You won’t want to miss out. Find People We Meet on Vacation here.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
On the surface, Irish immigrant Vivian Daly and teenager Molly Ayer couldn’t have less in common. But when a community service assignment forces Molly to help an elderly Vivian clean out her attic, Vivian’s chaotic past on an orphan train comes to light. Soon enough, as the story unfolds, their pasts and losses don’t seem as different as they were.
A powerful novel that explores the improbable, Orphan Train is a must-read. Find your copy here.
More Than Fine
These vibrant and emotional books will show you that, like Eleanor’s life, the reading experience doesn’t have to be just fine—it can be incredible. For anyone who has ever felt as if they were on the outside, this one’s for you.
Is Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine being made into a movie?
Yes! Succession and Veep writer Georgia Pritchett is adapting the novel for screen, with Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter producing, and Fleabag’s Harry Bradbeer directing.
Does Gail Honeyman have another book?
Right now, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is Honeyman’s only book, but stay tuned for future projects.
Is Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine based on a true story?
Honeyman has stated while the book is not based on a true story, she has observed that almost everyone has a story of loneliness.
What’s the plot twist Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine?
This is a spoiler-free zone, but you’ll be happy to know the twist at the end of the book drives the plot and will make you want to flip right back to the first page.
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