Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Published May 9, 2017
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ALL THE STARS !!!
I won an advanced copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you!
To be honest, I’m not sure if this book would have been on my radar if I hadn’t won it. Although the great reviews may have pulled me in. At any rate, I am so happy I read it.
I LOVED THIS BOOK !!
Just like it says in the title of the book, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine….well she thinks she is. She is honestly not worried that she may be missing out on anything. She is content with her life.
Eleanor is a little bit….odd. She’s very intelligent and well-spoken with impeccable grammar (thanks to Mummy) but she lacks the ability to filter what she says and therefore she will tell you exactly what she’s thinking. This can lead to very awkward situations.
Eleanor is comfortable with her routines. She’s worked at the same job for nine years. She starts work at 8:30, at lunch she buys a newspaper which she reads from cover to cover and then does the crossword. She finishes out her day, leaving work at 5:30. Eleanor listens to the Archers as she makes a simple dinner (usually pasta and salad – one pan one plate), watches TV or reads for a little while then off to be at ten. Her weekday routine only changes on Wednesday when she talks with “Mummy” for ten minutes.
Weekends are a bit different. After work Friday she picks up pizza, wine and two big bottles of Vodka for the weekend. She drinks the vodka over the weekend…..in a state where she’s neither drunk nor sober, waiting for Monday to come. No one comes over and she doesn’t go anywhere to visit. She sometimes wonders if she’s a figment of her own imagination.
But she’s fine with it. She’s fine. There’s nothing missing, she doesn’t need anyone else. Well that was what she told herself. But then it happens…
“He was light and heat. He blazed. Everything he came into contact with would be changed. I sat forward on my seat, edged closer. At last. I found him”
Now Eleanor is on a mission. First she decides a make-over is in order….and where she starts is both shocking and hilarious. I really want to write about what happened but I think I would spoil a very funny moment for many readers.
Things don’t go exactly as planned.
When her computer at work stops working she meets Raymond from IT. An easy-going guy, Raymond is intrigued by Eleanor, but she’s just not interested. She’s busy trying to re-create herself for the man of her dreams. But after work one day Eleanor and Raymond come across a man who has fallen on the sidewalk. Together they help the man, Sammy and so begins a friendship along with the start of many changes in Eleanor’s life.
The story is told from Eleanor’s point of view. We go along for the ride as she navigates her way through her life, learning to stand up for herself. But it won’t be easy. Secrets and memories that have been tucked away for many years can be painful to remember.
When you have trouble with social skills I can see how it would be easier to refrain from situations where things could go wrong so fast….. It would be easier being alone. As I mentioned there are many funny moments throughout the book. I really like how the author wrote these parts. I never felt like I was laughing AT Eleanor but at the things she said or the situations she ended up in. However, there are also many sad and painful moments. Times where I felt terrible for Eleanor.
Some of the funniest parts came out of nowhere – the phone doesn’t ring often but if telemarketers call Eleanor whispers “I know where you live” and hangs up. Often it was what she would be saying to herself that was funny.
An incredible read that had me bouncing from one emotion to the next. The author did a tremendous job bringing these wonderfully unique characters to life.
It’s hard to believe this is the author’s debut novel.
There are so many words that can be used to describe this novel – hilarious , unique, heartwarming, heartbreaking, charming, hopeful, inspiring, and COMPLETELY unforgettable.
You should read it!!
View all my reviews