ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE - GAIL HONEYMAN

 

Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

Published: January 2018

Genres: Fiction/Contemporary

 

 

SYNOPSIS

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 unnecessary human contact, 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, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she'll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.

 

NICKY'S REVIEW   ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book, at the time I read it, was just what I needed. I was struggling with what I wanted to read, and this was recommended to me by a friend, so glad they did, because I highly enjoyed it. This book is the story of and is narrated by Eleanor Oliphant, a curious human being. She lives her life of routine and normality, day in and day out. And she is completely fine. She is socially isolated (except her weekly phone calls with her “mommy”), but that’s the way she likes it. She loves vodka and frozen pizzas, and what’s wrong with that? As the book develops, the reader is treated to an insight into the psyche of Eleanor, and what happens when her way of life is disrupted when she meets Raymond who works in IT at the company she has worked at as an office manager for many years.  The character of Eleanor became one I became very invested in, and I think Gail Honeymen mastered the balancing act of heavy subject matter, with hope and humour. This book absolutely fascinated me, and I devoured it in days. So read it!

 

TAY'S REVIEW   ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The physical and emotion pain of loneliness is quite often the “side dish” to the central theme, rather than the focus as it was in this book. At first, I really didn’t like the character of Eleanor; I thought she came across as cold and a little selfish. Of course it’s not until you follow her extraordinary character growth that you realise her detachment is a result of a supressed childhood trauma. She is completely unique, a creature of habit with proper, eloquent speech and an almost robotic-like reaction to the human behaviours we normalise today. The only downfall for me was the over-simplified portrayal of dealing with depression and trauma, which I felt were brushed over and conveniently “cured” by therapy which more often than not is far from the case with such disorders. There were some charming and heart-warming moments and a twist at the end that’s not hard to guess but still an addition I appreciated. Although it wasn’t as good as I was expecting, I’d still recommend this read.

 

CONTENT WARNING

Depression, suicide, domestic violence.

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