What a great title. The central idea of the story is Eleanor’s growth from not fine at all to nearly fine—or close enough so the story ends well because we readers see that path out ahead of her. We leave Raymond, a perfect foil to Eleanor’s constricted persona, as a possibility, not a certainty. Nice … so un-cliché.Speaking of cliché, it would have been so easy to drench this story in it. Honeyman manages to get through it without cliché and in first person. Like the old story of the gifted athlete who was asked how he made love and responded, “Standing up … in a hammock.”Eleanor is an engaging character from the first page, pathetic in her many strictures at first. But she's so bright and funny without realizing it, we like her anyway. We watch the strictures strain and break as the story moves along. She’s bottled up in her preconceptions through the first half of the book. If Honeyman had pushed it just a little further, Eleanor would have become a repeating inanity. But at Sammy’s funeral, finally, she felt terrible for Sammy and his family … “Tears came, and the more I tried to fight them, the more they came.” To me, that initiated Eleanor’s growth.Also, I’m a sucker for good writing. How in-character of Eleanor to describe Donald Trump’s favorite filet o’ fish as a “square of indeterminate white fish, which was coated in bread crumbs and deep fried and then inserted between an overly sweet bread bun, accompanied, bizarrely, by a processed cheese slice, a limp lettuce leaf and some tangy white slime which bordered o obscenity.” Honeyman mines high dudgeon for great humor again and again.Writing in first person has become popular in the last decade, possibly in keeping with people's intense interest in their own inner workings. First person is difficult to do well because all the information the reader gets is from the protagonist. There is no way to vector in on a situation from multiple points of view. Therefore, stress on the protagonist. Honeyman turns the disadvantage on its head by writing such a compelling main character that we never get tired of seeing the world through her eyes. In the first half of the book, Eleanor manages to let the reader know just how distorted her view of the world is but succeeds in making the reader understand that she is oblivious. High art, indeed.Jaded a reader as I am, I have not had fiction force me to stay awake well beyond midnight in more than a year. I finished Eleanor at 2:30 am.