Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by 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.

I don’t even know where to begin with compiling my thoughts and feelings over this book. I felt the book was like the two sides of a coin: on one side was a witty, enjoyable, humorous story, and on the other side, a very sad, poignant and powerful story that could reduce many people to tears. It illustrates the consequences of toxic relationships, and actually, the consequences of healthy relationships. People have the ability to influence other people’s lives, and I feel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, is a stellar example of this; the good and the bad.

The best part of this book was characterisation. Without a shadow of doubt, I 100% connected to these characters more than I’ve ever felt connected before.
I liked Eleanor, I found her so kooky! And I really, really loved Raymond, he was just such a sweetie. The typical fella every gal wants to meet – he had a heart of gold.
Throughout the book, Eleanor was quite relatable with her awkward personality that could be doing with some TLC. She reminded me of all the moments in my life when I’ve longed for better human connection with my relationships, friendships and so on.
It was about half way through at book’s turning point (of Eleanor’s developing story), I began caring deeply for her, because she’s quite a haunted person, and I just wanted to reach into the book and give her a hug! Although, I must mention this, at one point, I thought I wasn’t going to like Eleanor because I found her obsession with another character, rather creepy in the beginning.

I really liked the relationship between Eleanor and Raymond. Honeyman didn’t force anything, even right until the end. She knew it was the right and best thing to do for the characters (and the readers!). The progression was natural, and in some ways, it’s a slow burn that is completely gratifying.

Also, toward the end of the book, I found it extremely hard to put the book down. I’m talking – leaving me in a state where I couldn’t see properly from sleep deprivation, couldn’t put the book down. I must commend Honeyman for capturing something with a nature so delicate and volatile, with great precision, and handling it so well. I don’t think I’ve ever read something where I’ve felt so deeply sad for someone, and it’s because on some level, I understood what was happening.

Overall, I thoroughly loved Eleanor Oliphant. The biggest achievement in this book was the characters and the handling of a sensitive issue with heart-warming and side-splitting mirth. It truly was comedy gold, hitting the ground running straight from chapter one, and it just kept on going from there. It is, hands down, one of the most funniest novels I’ve read in a while. Actually, at one point, the story sort of reminded me of the film The Holiday, and I genuinely think fans of that film would love this book. I read the book in 3 days, and rated it 5 stars on goodreads. I would recommend it to anyone, with the reminder it is an extremely emotional and meaningful book, that leaves a long-lasting impression, and perhaps a smile whenever Eleanor Oliphant comes to mind.

Buy It Now

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Published May 2017
Genre: contemporary, fiction

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