Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completley Fine by Gail Honeyman

31434883Genre: Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

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.

Oh wow. Eleanor Oliphant was completely heart-wrenching, yet profoundly heart-warming. I loved it, and I loved Eleanor.

Heart-wrenching. Something is wrong with Eleanor. Aside from the fact that it becomes apparent early on in the book that Eleanor might be on the autism spectrum, something is so, so wrong. Trigger warning abound as she delves into her past. Depression, suicide, sexual assault, death, abuse both physical and emotional, foster-care, Eleanor has been through it all. At times it was quite difficult to read. Often I found tears welling up in my eyes, though Honeyman never focused on something bad long enough for me to really get upset. My heart broke for Eleanor, that she was so sad, and so lonely, and so messed up.

Heart-warming. Despite everything she’s been through, and despite being pretty rude, I couldn’t help but love Eleanor. She’s got such a snarky sense of humor, yet she see’s the world in a quite child-like way. She’s never been happy, but as she starts to discover what happiness is, what it could mean, she just melted my heart. Like the people around her, at first I felt a little put-off by the way she spoke and treated people. But as I got to know her I realized, that’s just Eleanor. It was amazing to see the characters in the book do the same thing.

My overall impression of this novel is that despite some heavy themes, it is uplifting and sweet. Honeyman’s profoundly optimistic message is that most people are essentially good, and the ones who aren’t, aren’t worth your time. I loved this book and I would highly recommend it.

16 thoughts on “Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

  1. I really liked this book too! It was close to 5 stars to me but fell short. but I loved the writing! there was just something about Eleanor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your review was great! I don’t know what you were worrying about crazy lady 😜😘 I particularly like the way you described why you chose particular adjectives (like why it was heart warming and why it was heart wrenching).


    1. Thanks. ❤ I wasn't so much worried about my review being bad, just impressed that you managed to say all the things I thought about this book but couldn't express properly, so I didn't even try. I kept this one short because I figured three good paragraphs was better than twenty rambling ones that didn't make sense, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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