Books, Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman Review

I had done such things in the past, tried to be kind, tried to take care, I knew that I had, but that was before. I tried and I had failed, and all was lost to me afterwards. I had no one to blame but myself.”

Excerpts from:
Eleanor Oliphant pg. 192
Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

This was not a “love at first read.” In fact, I couldn’t complete it at first because it didn’t grab me in the same way that the previous novels did. I opted to read another novel and then decided to give it another shot. I took the book from my closet (where I keep all of them right now) and read the first chapter. Then, all of a sudden, it hit me… I was immediately smitten by this and couldn’t wait to read the next chapters.

Eleanor captivates my interest in some way. I am a gregarious person, yet Eleanor’s passionate character in this story comes through even when she is alone. Every time I finish this story, I want to know more about her and what happened to her to make her the way she is. Reading this made me realize that she chooses to be alone and is quite ok with it. Her naivety was noticeable, especially when she began to interact and try new things for the first time with someone outside of her typical routine and way of life. She also has a sense of humor that she is unaware of. Her style of thinking made me laugh and cry at the same time.

I keep thinking about Eleanor and how she fell in love with the musician while I read this book. I first believed this book would be a love tale, so I eagerly anticipated when she would meet the musician and the details of their romance. Because of the descriptions in the first chapter and the way her coworkers treated her, I was really hoping that this book would include a makeover for the main character. She came to mind as a plain, reserved woman who had many secrets to reveal that the readers would be interested in learning about. Eleanor’s one-sided passion for Johnnie will thrill you, but after getting to know Raymond, I found myself rooting for him and fervently hoping that he would be the one for Eleanor at the end of the novel.

However, this book is not a love tale. It’s more complicated and unexpected than you believe. You may first assume that you are familiar with all aspects of Eleanor, but you still need to learn more about her. Particularly after reading the chapter from “Bad Days.” I could sense how weak she was feeling, so I wasn’t ready for what she revealed. Anyway, I won’t go into further detail out of caution to avoid being a complete spoiler. You should learn about and get to know Eleanor.

My Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Here are a few phrases from the book that have grown to be some of my favorites. I’ve included my analysis of each quote in this document. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Sometimes you simply needed someone kind to sit with you while you dealt with things.”

No man is an island, and we all need someone to stick by our sides, even if they don’t say anything, especially while we are going through terrible moments. We will feel more at peace knowing that someone is around us.

Although it’s good to try new things and to keep an open mind, it’s also extremely important to stay true to who you really are.”

This is absolutely true. They might occasionally lose sight of who they really are when they attempt something new, like going out with someone who is out of their league. They forget that what they are doing is different from how they used to be and continue to do more and demand more.

These are a few of the reasons Eleanor Oliphant was special to me, and I have no doubt that you will feel the same way. 😊

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