Book Review by Dinh.
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.
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.
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.
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!