Official Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Setting: Modern-day Glasgow, Scotland
My Copy Came From: I purchased the paperback from Costco.
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Review: A hilarious, poignant read that you won’t forget! Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a title that keeps popping up everywhere. Reese Witherspoon is making a movie based on the book, and the book really gained notice when she chose it for her book club selection last year.
Eleanor Oliphant, our main character, is such a unique character. She is opinionated and bold, while also being quiet and lonely. She has a drinking problem, and her life consists of going to work during the week, and then coming home on the weekend and drinking her way through many bottles of vodka.
I do exist, don’t I? It often feels as if I’m not here, that I’m a figment of my own imagination. There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I’d lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock.
Eleanor is quite the quirky character! She doesn’t mince words when thinking to herself about other people, and the character descriptions were absolutely hilarious and also mean, but funny in that dry humor sort of way. She’s funny without knowing or meaning to be funny, which made me warm up to her and feel protective of her. You immediately get the sense that there is more to Eleanor’s story than she lets out, and I couldn’t put this book down as I was drawn in to how the story was told, and trying to figure out what had happened in Eleanor’s past to make her so standoffish.
I have always taken great pride in managing my life alone. I’m a sole survivor—I’m Eleanor Oliphant. I don’t need anyone else—there’s no big hole in my life, no missing part of my own particular puzzle. I am a self-contained entity. That’s what I’ve always told myself, at any rate.
Eleanor sees a musician one evening and falls instantly in love. She starts to branch out and break out of her routine and ends up forming a friendship with a co-worker named Raymond. I adored Eleanor and Raymond’s friendship. From Raymond’s enthusiasm for everything to Eleanor’s shock at everything Raymond does, it was a pairing that really worked for me. I felt Raymond’s protectiveness for Eleanor, and loved their interactions. I especially enjoyed the scenes with Raymond’s mother.
Her home was so… shiny. She was shiny too, her skin, her hair, her shoes, her teeth. I hadn’t even realized before; I am matte, dull and scuffed.
There is something special about this read. Eleanor finds her way into your heart, even with all of her rude behavior and awkwardness. This book was funny and sweet, heartbreaking and cruel, and I couldn’t put it down. There are some intense scenes, some with so much cruelty it takes your breath away. Fire also figures prominently in this read, and had I known that before reading the book I probably would not have picked it up, just because fire is not something I care to read much about, but I would’ve missed out on a fantastic read had I skipped this book.
These days, loneliness is the new cancer—a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.
There’s a reason this book is so popular, and the character of Eleanor Oliphant is one that is so heartbreakingly memorable, you can’t help but love her.
Bottom Line: You’ll laugh and you’ll cry while reading this.