Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Here’s my take on The Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

Front Cover - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

BLURB

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.

REVIEW

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is about a 30-year-old Eleanor Oliphant who has no one in her life except her mummy – who doesn’t make any appearances in the book except on the regular phone calls Eleanor has with her on every Wednesday. Eleanor has been brought up in different foster homes and is shown as a socially awkward woman. She has no friends, has set routines, and follows those patterns religiously, that is, until Raymond comes in her life and turns things upside down. Does Eleanor welcome those changes? How tough is it for Eleanor to change? What is her past that makes her behave like this? Where is Eleanor’s mummy and why doesn’t she appear physically in the book? Read the book to find all the answers and more.

Coming to the review, I’d like to start with the book cover, it is simple and minimal, something that I prefer when it comes to book covers. The writing style is fluid and makes reading easy. The vocabulary used by the author is understandable yet top-notch and goes with the flow of the book. Those who love books with decent vocabulary will love Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. The storyline is well planned and doesn’t leave readers confused anywhere. It managed to keep me intrigued throughout.

Eleanor is an orphan who is socially awkward – like we established above – and follows her own sets of rules and thoughts no matter what. Her life revolves around her job and the weekly phone call with Mummy. The first few chapters are about Eleanor’s daily chores and her lifestyle so that we can have a detailed insight into her life.

The best thing about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the character development of Eleanor Oliphant itself. In the starting, she comes out as someone who judges a lot. She has high standards for her future partner and for her Raymond is a man who is shabbily dressed and has no manners.

Even though she completely disliked Raymond at first, he slowly starts growing on her. Their friendship is one of the beautiful relationships in the book.

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

And Raymond is that someone to Eleanor while she deals with her past.

Photo - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The emotions portrayed in the book are overwhelming. I felt all the pain Eleanor was going through and her struggles looked like my struggles. I even rejoiced in her happiness.

“In the end, what matters is this: I survived.”

In the end, what matters is that I closed the book with a big smile on my face.

Raymond is a sweetheart throughout the book. Just like Eleanor, by the end of the book, I also grew fond of him. Appearance doesn’t define your personality, and Raymond is a perfect example of it.

Eleanor and Raymond are like poles apart but still, they find their way together.

“I simply didn’t know how to make things better. I could not solve the puzzle of me.”

Gail Honeyman has maintained the suspense about Eleanor’s past and her Mummy, and the revelations will make you go all WOW.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is divided into three parts: good days,  bad days, and better days. This helped my understanding of the book much easier.

I would like to give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Even though it’s worth a read, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is slow-paced. The first few chapters are monotonous and repetitive. I was eager for the story to move fast. I love fast-moving stories so the beginning of the book was a downfall for me. It felt stagnant. Eleanor’s obsession with the musician is annoying and creepy as she also referred to him as her ‘new project’. Well, no one likes to be referred to as an object. The language could be a bit tough for you if you don’t like books with big words.

CONCLUSION

If you want to read a wholesome book go with this Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. After the read, it will leave you with a satisfactory feeling. This is the type of book which is referred to as ‘people changing’.  The start of the book is a bit slow but it takes a good pace as the story progresses. It is one of the best books I read lately.

At the end of the book Eleanor Oliphant was completely fine and so was I.

Ending the review from some lines from the book which I really like.

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”

Have you read the Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine?

Tell me your opinions in the comments below.

Thank you and regards,

Kashish Agrawal

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