I went into this book knowing that Eleanor Oliphant was probably not fine, but then I read the story of a young woman working with her mental illness even though she doesn’t know that she’s hurting.
Here’s more about the book
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.
I’m going to get my feelings out of the way right now. Eleanor Oliphant is probably the most complex and deeply moving character I’ve read in a really long time.
You can tell right away from the way Gail Honeyman writes Eleanor that something is up. You don’t know exactly what it is and you can’t put your finger on it, but this seems like the type of person that you want to keep reading about.
What really tipped me off was how Eleanor spent her weekends. I know a lot of folks like to imbibe in a drink or two, but when Eleanor mentioned that she drinks like an entire bottle of vodka over two days I knew something was up.
And as the novel progresses, you see what’s really going on with Eleanor and why she’s the way she is. I wish I can say more, but I feel like I’ll spoil it if I do.
But the major theme of this novel is the way we handle mental health. For Eleanor, this wasn’t easy. Coming from the foster care system and then basically in the witness protection program, Eleanor kept to herself most of the time. Because of this lifestyle, she’s squirreled away the past and only focused on the day that she was living. For most living for the day is the dream, but for Eleanor it doesn’t seem like living. It doesn’t seem like it at all.
Gail Honeyman does do the one thing I really love about books; keeps you suspended. You know when you first reading the book that something is up, but she doesn’t give up the ghost until the very end. For me, I was reading just so I can find out the tragic life of Eleanor Oliphant. I wanted to reach into this book and give her a helping hand. I wanted to tell her that not all people in this world are trying to sabotage you and hate you and wish you were dead. There are many good people in this world that will love you for who you are and not push you to be something else.
I loved the relationships she has with Raymond in this story. I was a little worried that whatever they had going would turn into some forced love affair, but that’s not where it went. Raymond loves Eleanor like he loves a sister. He takes care of her and brings her a cat he found because he thought she could do with a furry friend. Their relationship never felt like a romance and that really made me happy. I doubt that Eleanor at this point in her life would want a relationship especially since her last relationship was tumultuous and abusive. It made me happy that she had a friend and a real friend at that.
All in all, this is a good one to read and feel things. I wanted Eleanor Oliphant to be more than fine in her life because of the circumstances that got her there. And while the book doesn’t show you what happens to her in the future, I’m a hundred percent positive that she’s more than fine. I think she’s amazing.
- Hardcover, 327 pages
- Viking – Pamela Dorman Books (May 9, 2017)
- Rating: 5/5 stars
- Find ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE on Amazon
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9 thoughts on “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman”
I felt the same way about this one, especially regarding the relationship between her and Raymond. I also found a lot of humor in it, in some very unexpected places. Eleanor is definitely the most unforgettable character I’ve read up to this point and one of my favorites.
I really saw Eleanor and Raymond as brother and sister than anything else. She’s definitely an unforgettable character and I’m glad you enjoyed it.
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I love this book so much. What really got me about it is the way it describes loneliness. It’s more than a quirky story about a weird woman; it actually digs really deep and there were quite a few passages about Eleanor’s life that had me breathing deeply to calm down a bit. It’s beautifully written that way.
And I liked that there was a hint of romance between Eleanor and Raymond 🙂 Just a tiny hint. It’s part of how wonderfully the book is balanced in every way. No aspect of it is too much or not enough.
This sounds fascinating! Mental health and the way it’s viewed in society is an important topic to me, so I will be adding this one to my TBR. Thanks for the review!
Oh glad to hear that you’re adding this one to the TBR! Aside from the mental health topics, it’s a great read and a character you’ll fall in love with.
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This was one of my favorites from last year! So glad you enjoyed it. And I agree with you about how the relationship with Raymond was handled- it does seem toward the end like there could be potential for more but I’m glad it never went farther than that hint.
I absolutely love Eleanor and her journey in this book. I love that there wasn’t a forced romance in the book. Eleanor was an incredibly complex character that i was able to witness her growth through the pages of the book.
Absolutely lovely review.