Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

My review:

I was instantly drawn into this quirky novel surrounding the even more quirky Eleanor Oliphant. She leads a lonely existence, chastised weekly by her mother and mocked by her co-workers. She develops a small infatuation with an anonymous singer and decides that is the solution to all her problems.
But Eleanor has so much more to learn about life, love and herself……

I loved the dialogue from Eleanor, her matter of fact and often brutally honest responses to situations, reminded me of my autistic son’s flippant remarks. Both very observant and seem to lack any real filter. But both also truly innocent in their approaches. This is what made me develop a soft spot for the character. I urged her to get to the bottom of her problems and discover a life outside the confines of her flat.
Enter new work colleague Raymond.

Eleanor begins a growing friendship with IT work colleague Raymond. This is when we discover more about her personality and background. The loneliness and emotional pain, the denial of a mother’s love can bring is heart-breaking.
But it also adds to the psychology of why Eleanor is, the way she is.
I quickly came to realise, everyone needs a Raymond. Someone that doesn’t give up on you, not matter how tough life is.
Even more importantly the subtle message that it is ok, to not be ok, and need some help!

There are various themes I could go into but to go into too much detail would spoil how the novel unfolds. I read this novel in a single afternoon and was engrossed in the world of Eleanor and I can easily see why it has been snapped up by Reese Wetherspoon’s production company.
I look forward to watching the movie with my daughter upon release!

Gail Honeyman

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