I realised to day that I haven’t reviewed a book on here for a very long time. Too long in fact. And, as I’ve been lucky enough to read a lot of good books recently, I decided it was time to do something about that. And so I’m going to start with ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ – Gail Honeyman’s debut novel.
Synopsis: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
‘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 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 Take on the Book
Eleanor Oliphant is a creature of habit to say the least. She lives a secluded life, suffers from anxiety and lacks social skills of any kind. She has no friends to speak of, spends her weekends drinking alone in her flat and her only real social activity is a weekly phone call with her mother (Mummy). She thrives on routine and her message to the world is that she’s completely fine.
But Eleanor has a past. A past she can barely remember despite bearing the scars from it on her face. A past which is revealed bit by bit to both Eleanor and the readers and, suffice to say, it wasn’t a happy time. However, after winning tickets for a concert, Eleanor falls in head over heels with love with the singer of the band and, at the same time, strikes up a friendship with Raymond from the IT department of the company she works for. As all of this unfolds she starts to realise that she needs to change but the changes she has to make will mean that she must confront her past. The past she’s successfully managed to completely block from her memory
It isn’t very often that I come across a book where I like all of the characters but this is one such book. Although it took me a while to get to grips with Eleanor’s quirks, the more I understood her story, the more I warmed to her. She takes everything literally. As far as she is concerned black is black and white is white. There’s nothing in between and, to be honest, more often than not it’s the grey areas that cause confusion so there were times where I could completely identify with her way of thinking.
I liked Raymond. He’s basically a down-to-earth, ordinary, every-day kind of guy with a heart of gold. What more can I say?
Now, despite saying I liked all the characters, I did have a problem with Eleanor’s mother. She was a complete horror. We only ever hear her speaking to Eleanor on the phone but all is not as it seems with her. I’m not saying any more about her as I don’t want to give anything away but, expect a shocking twist involving Mummy towards the end of the book.
I loved this book! In fact, I loved it so much I honestly didn’t want it to end. It’s so well written that it’s easy to forget this is Gail Honeyman’s debut novel. The characters are believable, the storyline is incredibly well crafted and the plot keeps you guessing right to the end without being overcomplicated or confusing. There are real laugh-out-loud moments and there are moments when I felt as though my heart might break for Eleanor. I would have happily carried on reading about Eleanor’s daily routine forever more.
This story is about transformation and personal growth which we’ve all been through on some level I’m sure. As long as things continue as they are, everything is fine. But suddenly, something unexpected happens and it sets off a ripple effect. And before you know it, everything you’ve come to know has changed and nothing will ever be the same again.
So, I’m sure you already know but my heart rating for Eleanor Oliphant is:(5 / 5)
If you’ve read the book I’d love to hear what you think of it.
Do you agree with my rating?
Would you have rated it differently?
If so, why?
I’d love it if you would join in the conversation about Eleanor Oliphant.
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Until the next time,