Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman


No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

My review

This book is truly brilliant, just as Eleanor Oliphant is. I absolutely felt like I became friends with Eleanor by the end of the book. Eleanor is a woman who speaks her mind, avoids interactions with others, doesn’t fit the everyday social mould and is one of the most courageous characters I have encountered. Eleanor grew up in the foster system as a result of the emotional and physical abuse of her biological family. Her story is revealed throughout the book as she uncovers more about her self and her circumstance.

Gail Honeyman manages to delve into the important issues surrounding foster children and the continued struggles, including feelings of loss, grief and abandonment that surface as time goes on.

Raymond, a colleague of Eleanor, sees her for who she is and soon shows her a side of life she hasn’t experienced – true friendship, kindness and care.

There is great humour within Eleanor’s logical and inquisitive thoughts. Some examples include her realisation that her nail technician should have become a dog groomer, since she was unsure whether to become a nail technician or vet. Why not incorporate two skills in one profession? Eleanor also wonders ‘if cobblers and chiropractors had established some kind of fiendish cartel’, as the woman in the store was quite insistant on Eleanor purchasing a pair of heels. There are many other thoughts that had me giggling as I read her logical, yet true thoughts that make Eleanor the individul she is.

Eleanor’s character is built in a way that the reader understands her world and hy her thoughts and actions are as they are in present day. I was cheering on Eleanor as she started to make positive improvements in her life for herself. What a strong character, what a strong woman.

Gail Honeman is truly talented to be able to present a character such as Eleanor. Thank you for bringing Eleanor to life. There are many Eleanors in life who are misunderstood and simply need friendship, care and love. This book will stay with me for a long time.


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