Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fineby Gail Honeyman Published 09 May 2017
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Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. 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 how 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?
"Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine" Reviews
Eleanor Oliphant is a thirty year old accounts receivable clerk who has a humdrum existence. She calls herself a self contained entity, eating lunch alone while doing crossword puzzles and spending every weekend alone with bottles of vodka. She feels freakish and ugly since she has scar tissue across her right cheek, a result of third degree burns suffered during childhood. She speaks to Mummy by phone every Wednesday. Eleanor lives with the only item to have survived her childhood, her parrot plant, Polly. Having been raised from age ten in the foster care system, she has no appropriate social skills. Society has kept her fed, clothed and educated, but unloved.
Mummy's phone calls are hurtful and abusive. Mummy tells Eleanor that she's let people down, can't be trusted and that her facial scars show the past living on her face. Despite this criticism, she embarks upon a mission to find a boyfriend or husband. This will keep Mummy happy. Eleanor decides to change her outward appearance to attract dreamy rock musician, Johnnie Lomond.
Raymond,a co-worker from the IT department of her office, starts a budding friendship with Eleanor after both of them assist an accident victim. Through Raymond's kindness and ministrations, Eleanor's inner emotions and feelings slowly start to emerge. She revisits her childhood memories with help from Raymond, her first real friend. Confronting her past will enable her to change the trajectory of her life.
Eleanor Oliphant had a tumultous, mindboggling upbringing. Her journey is one of hope for a better future, a future fought for and won by facing her demons and disassociating herself with the perpetrator(s) of abuse. "Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman is an excellent debut novel.
Thank you Viking-Pamela Dorman Books and First To Read for the opportunity to read and review "Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine".
Thank you, Eleanor Oliphant. Thank you for picking me up out of my reading slump. Thank you for being so funny, so sad, so smart, so blunt. Thank you for being a literary character that will live forever in the hearts of (most) anyone that reads you.
Oh, and a big thank you for enriching my own personal vocab. My Kindle dictionary has never had such a workout. What a nice perk!! Effortless writing that flows naturally fast, even though Eleanor O prefers to use crossword type clues as actual everyday language. She is a piece of work! And I adore her.
I didn’t want this book to end. No, seriously did not want it to end, so why did I devour it as fast as ice cream melting at a picnic? Because it is that good! My black, black heart doesn't always have to read about murders and mysteries. I love a feel good story as much as the next guy. I just need it to be the right kind of writing (GOOD, NOT cheesy). The right kind of character (layered, quirky, UNIQUE). I have to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of A MAN CALLED OVE. Ove did not strike me as a real person. He felt artificial and a bit contrived. Made up. Eleanor O, on the other hand, is real.
This is the right kind of everything. Thank you, Ms. Honeyman, for writing it. I actually feel sad for other books that try so hard to achieve the big feels and don't even come close to Eleanor Oliphant.
I've meant to read this for at least a year now and finally was nudged into it by my bookclub IRL! If this is on your TBR and you haven't read it yet, ahhhhhhh, I envy you. Don't wait a minute longer. Do it now!
I just loved Eleanor! She is a loner and avoids social interactions and lives in isolation. She speaks out without thinking, to whatever pops in her mind. She has never received hugs, or held hands and has never felt loved, she never received anything when she was sad to cheer her up. Never received balloons and received a balloon from Raymond with Sponge Bob on it and it was so special to her. She never heard of Sponge Bob.
She had an awful childhood with a scar on her face and bruises would show up all over her body. She had an emotional traumatic past. She was bought up in foster homes and then gets herself her own apartment from a social worker.
Eleanor is now thirty years old and works in a office. She drinks a lot of vodka and spends time on the weekends talking to her Mummy on the telephone. She drinks her vodka so she can forget her traumatic past, all what she remembers is a fire. She then goes through counseling and things come together and she remembers everything that
happened in her traumatic past
She then meets Raymond and things start to change for her, she finally meets a friend. She is in love with a famous musician. That is how quirky she is, she actually wants a relationship with him. Her relationship with Raymond builds and it works for her. She then goes through counseling and things come together and she remembers everything that happened in her traumatic past. She is changing and turns out being very brave. She is so humorous. I just loved Eleanor.
This book really made me feel so many emotions!! I laughed, I cried, tears running down my face. I cheered for Eleanor near the end. I loved this book. It really made me feel! I just loved Eleanor.
It was a slow burn but the book started building suspense when I read about her scar on her face and had to find out why. Then it got me turning the pages to find out what happened. I was so surprised when I found out what happened. It was so sad and heartbreaking what she went through. While I was reading this I thought it was a whole different genre in what I usually read, it wasn't a thriller but it was the mystery of what happened that turned this into a page turner. Once all the pieces came together, I fell in love with this book. I can understand why it was a little slow, you needed to really get to know Eleanor. Once I started loving Eleanor that is when it started getting really good. I then couldn't put it down. Eleanor will make you laugh, she will make you cry, and she will have you cheering her on. If you love a book that will make you feel, this is the one for you!! I loved it.
This book was an awesome character driven novel. I just loved Eleanor's character.
“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” but after finishing this novel, I am not.
I was completely unprepared for the life of Eleanor Oliphant and that of her ‘Mummy.” To be frank, I was ill-equipped to deal with it, much like Eleanor. And it wrecked me.
At thirty years-old, Eleanor Oliphant is alone in this world. She always has been, actually. In and out of foster care since she was a little girl, she has never been touched by anyone in a loving way and doesn’t even know what that would feel like, but that’s ok. All of her physical needs are met, you see and she has never had any emotional needs.
Seeing as she doesn’t have any friends, Eleanor is quiet and socially awkward. Everyone thinks she is fairly strange, if you must to know. Not that she minds since people’s behavior makes absolutely no sense to her. She is good at being alone and she does not feel sorry for herself. Not even when ‘Mummy’ calls and viciously tells her daughter off and berates her for being being “naughty.” Eleanor, however wears a coat of armor and does her best to let her mother’s words bounce off of her.
Eleanor has no aspirations though she has done accounting at an office for the last 9 years. Every day of her life is the same and she would be nothing without routine. One night, all of that changes rather abruptly. After work, she and a coworker named Raymond whom she just met and who happens to be leaving the office at the same time as her, find themselves in the exact right place at the right time. Both Eleanor and Raymond see a man (named Samuel), go down on the sidewalk and they go have a look see and discover that he needs an ambulance. This incident ends up tying the three together and becomes one of the most significant in Eleanor Oliphant’s life. It forges a bond of friendship between them, which is something Eleanor has never experienced before in all her thirty years.
During this time, Eleanor also ends up finding him. The man she has been waiting for all of her life. The man she is meant to be with. Now she just has to get him to notice her. In trying to do so, Eleanor grows bolder and more confident. She also learns to lean on and open herself up to her new friends.
Throughout the book, Eleanor slowly experiences a metamorphosis, one that often makes you smile, laugh and of course, cry. She is damaged and quirky but oh so special. I loved her dearly. For more reasons than one. I identified with Eleanor Oliphant you see, and for that, I was unprepared. I did say that this book wrecked me right?! I get why Eleanor is Completely Fine. She had no choice. Unfortunately, Eleanor’s ‘Mummy’ is someone I recognized fairly well. When I heard her voice (in a Scottish accent) on the audiobook, and the way she spoke to her daughter, my chest got tight and my throat closed up and I sobbed. Unlike Eleanor's “Mummy” however, mine happens to be British instead of Scottish - though the accents are close, thus I therefore guess that listening to the audiobook had an even more profound effect on me. I’ve had similar conversations, in case it wasn’t obvious and I felt Eleanor’s pain more deeply as it related to her ‘Mummy’, for at certain times in my life, it mirrored my own. All that aside however, Eleanor does not go quietly into the dark goodnight (and neither did I, for what it’s worth).
Though it affected me greatly, “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” is without a doubt one of the most incredible, profound, and beautifully well written novels I have absorbed in ages. It wrecked me in the best and worst ways possible. In case it’s not obvious, it will stay with me for a long time. I think I came across it on purpose as both Eleanor Oliphant and I needed something from it and I think we were both lucky enough to receive it.
Published on Goodreads and Amazon on 6.26.17.
Eleanor Oliphant is one of the heroines of literature that I am sure I will remember always. She is brilliant, yet socially awkward. At the age of 10 she experienced a trauma that she never received any help with to sort through it. So, she repressed her memories and more importantly, she repressed her emotions. By the age of 30, she was so good at repression that it completely froze parts of her being and the underlying, unacknowledged fear of any of her repressions getting out were the root cause of her lack of social skills.
When dealing with intellectual matters, she is formidable; her vocabulary and the facts at her fingertips are beyond many people’s comprehension. Yet even as she grew and matured, some parts of her remained in the stunted, closed-in world of her 10-year-old self.
Despite everything she had experienced, with both physical scars and those on her psyche, not once does Eleanor feel self-pity or get caught up in, “I am a victim”. She simply does not see herself that way and it is one of the reasons I admire her as a character to be honoured and respected.
At her workplace, she meets the new IT guy Raymond, and her critique of him is definitely offhand and dismissive. Although they do eventually become friends, Eleanor has her sights set on someone else – far more glamourous, exciting, and sophisticated.
When her world takes a nose dive, she is wise enough to know it is because of her own poor decisions based on influences from her past, and she takes brave measures to turn her life around with help from her friend Raymond. Her long and slow recovery is a testament to the human soul’s willingness to strive and thrive against all odds.
I found this book to be a compelling read, funny in places, deadly serious in other places, but always, always buoyed by Eleanor’s determination and resilience. It was rewarding to watch her friendship with Raymond grow, and his support of her is inspiring.
I loved this book; it is yet another amazing debut novel by an author I hope to read more of in the future. This one is going straight to my Favourites shelf, and I know that if ever I need inspiration, all I need do is think about Eleanor Oliphant!
At first it’s easy to think that Eleanor is just a quirky social misfit with no friends and no social life and she is, but I soon found out that there is so much more to Eleanor and so much more to learn about her. It’s a lonely life she leads and she says everything is fine but we learn eventually that it isn’t, and that life hasn’t ever been fine. While hints of what happened to her are slowly divulged, we never really find out everything until the end . It’s heartbreaking to learn why she drowns herself in alcohol and fantasizes about a guy in a band, wanting a guy to love her, scars and all, the ones on the outside and those in her heart.
Although, there is some humor to be found here, this really is such a profoundly sad story. I found it very difficult to read at times, especially hearing the disturbing things that she tells us her mother says to her in their weekly conversations. She’s ridiculed and laughed at by her coworkers except for the seemingly odd Raymond, the IT guy with whom she becomes friends. Suddenly Eleanor Is living parts of the life that her past had taken away from her. She slowly gets to know a little of the world that she had hidden herself from for so many years behind the walls of her apartment and large quantities of vodka. I’m almost at a loss for anything further to say, except that I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book. I didn’t get to it right away because I really thought it was just another quirky book and I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s about how people can impact each other’s lives in unbearably awful ways and how others rise to save them. A fantastic debut that is not to be missed.