Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Book Review

Book Review by Dinh.

5 out of 5 stars

Read summary here.

Review:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Comletely Fine by Gail Honeyman has been on my to read list for ages and I am glad that we decided to read it for our monthly read.

Everyone I know who has read it has only high praises for it, so going in I was expecting it to be great. Some have compared it to A Man Called Ove by Federik Backman, but a female version of it. I absolutely loved Backman’s debut novel so I was super excited to dig in Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

So did it meet my expectation? Yes! The book was well worth the read!

Here’s why I loved it so much!

Great Story Line

I loved the story line. It’s so good!

Set in Glasgow, Scotland, we get to know Eleanor Oliphant who on the surface seems like she is fine but is not really.

She goes to her job Monday to Friday and has her routine of hour lunch whilst doing the Daily Telegraph crossword puzzle, but from after work on Friday until Monday morning she sees no one and polishes off two big bottle of vodka.

Eleanor’s solitary lifestyle changes when she and IT guy Raymond from her company, help an old man when he collapsed in front of them.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine book cover

Author’s Style

I was pulled into the book right away. Honeyman has captured Eleanor’s voice and personality really well and I was turning the pages from the get go. When I wasn’t reading the physical book, I listened to the audio book and found it brilliant as well.

The book was well balance in details and dialogue so you get Eleanor’s perspective and enjoy the funny parts. It was also a light read even though the story was sad.

I loved the way we get Eleanor’s story from her own distinct voice. Honeyman did a great job in conveying a socially awkward person. I could imagine what Eleanor would say in any situation.

I felt sorry for Eleanor at first but as we got to know her, I began to love and hoped for a happy ending for her.

A great book should move you whether it makes you laugh, cry, or feel sad or any other emotions. Honeyman has hit the nail on the head with her debut novel. I laughed, cried and enjoyed all the awkward situations.

I really liked Honeyman’s message in this story. Kindness, however small that act may be, can make a difference in someone’s life and can be transformative.

Quote from Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Characters

I enjoyed the two main characters in this book and thought Honeyman captured their personalities really well. Both characters were well developed.

  • Eleanor Oliphant

I was interested in Eleanor’s story from the beginning of the book. She was in foster care and children’s homes and later abused by the one boyfriend she had. She had to find ways to cope with the pain that she went through and she went through the motions of living but not living properly. She was lonely and denied the pain she was going through all those years.

Eleanor is a smart and direct woman and as she grows on you you begin to root for her as she tries new things and social situations.

  • Raymond Gibbons

I adored Raymond’s character. He was a geeky IT guy but has a heart of gold. He was not superficial and super friendly.

Raymond becomes Eleanor’s friend and helps her by being her friend. I really enjoyed their friendship developing and how he supported her.

Book Cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Ending

I liked the ending of the book.

It left off at an appropriate spot where you could imagine what Eleanor’s next steps would be. What better way than end it with “Better Days”? I could imagine Eleanor and Raymond’s friendship strengthening and possibly blossoming into a romance. Was it just me or were there subtle hints of it?

I loved that it left off hopeful and happy!

I liked that it had closure too. Eleanor’s sad story which was revealed in bits and pieces came together at the end. The horizon has new possibilities for Eleanor.

My Final Thoughts

I absolutely love Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

What a great read! It was funny, heartwarming, and uplifting wrapped in a sad story line with a hopeful ending.

I highly recommend this beautifully written book!

Get your copy here. Or listen to it for free with an Audible trial. (Audible sample is available).

Check out Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine book club discussion questions.

10 thoughts on “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Book Review

  1. It sounded like Scotland has better group homes for kids than we do in the US. She’s doing remarkably well for someone who had the tragedy happen that she experienced.
    Raymond was a typical IT guy but also a very good person who was concerned about Eleanor and also his own Mom that he took her to meet. It was nice she found a therapist who could actually help her and hopefully she will have a better life experience because of that with the support of Raymond and her understanding boss. It’s not great literature but a really heartwarming story which we all need to read to help us cope with challenges in our lives.

    1. Hi Dawn,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      I loved this heartwarming book not just for the laughs but for the message. I was glad that Eleanor made a real friend and learned to โ€˜liveโ€™ and be happy.

      I loved the story line and happy ending ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Yay! I am so glad you were able to love this book so much too! I agree that the writing style sucks you in straight away and Elinor’s unique character and also the way we get into her mind… it just draws you in and even though she comes off as unlikeable at first your attitude to her really changes when you learn more. I LOVED Raymond. He is so nice and basically a lovely human being. I was glad for the closure at the ending too.

  3. You know I didn’t like this book, but I took your advice and picked up the audio book, and it was still just OK to me. I am keeping at it slowly, but not sure when I’ll finish it. I’m glad to hear the book has some sort of redemption. I get that she’s a quirky, but it just moved so slowly. Funny and cute at times, like when she gets a bikini wax and shops for an outfit to go to a concert in. Overall, it just felt like an After School Special if it was a movie. I am one of the few people that doesn’t love or like this book, but that’s the beauty of art – it’s in the eye’s of the beholder.

    1. Hi Kristine!
      The beauty of books is that everyone has a different experience when they read it. You gave it a try but it wasn’t for you. C’est la vie!

  4. Thanks for the review Dinh!
    Glad I can always stop by and check out your latest posts when I’m looking for a new read. You haven’t steered me wrong yet! ๐Ÿ™‚
    ~Jeremy

    1. Hi Jeremy!
      Thanks for stopping by at Arlene’s Book Club!
      I am happy to hear you are still finding your next great read here. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Happy reading!

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