- Author: Gail Honeyman
- File Size: 25116 KB
- Print Length: 383 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0008172110
- Publisher: HarperCollins; ePub edition edition (May 18, 2017)
- Publication Date: May 18, 2017
- Language: English
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick
“Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” —Reese Witherspoon
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.
Eleanor Oliphant is one of the most interesting characters that I have read in a while. She is blunt. Very blunt. She lacks social skills and tends to spout off facts to people just having conversations. She likes her routine. Every Friday, stop and buy pizza and vodka. And every Wednesday, she talks to her mother. Those are never very good for Eleanor. Her mother is mean and angry and leaves her feeling less than. Something happened to Eleanor when she was a child. Something that left her with a scar on her face and moving from foster home to foster home. Does she remember it all or is it her coping mechanism? Things start to change in her life when her company’s IT guy, Raymond, and Eleanor help an old man who has passed out in the street. Family is the one thing that she has been missing.
There is so much to Eleanor. In the beginning, I thought that I didn’t care too much for her but as time went on and she opened up, well, I fell in love with her. I would venture to say that she is on the autism spectrum. What a sad story she had lived and what a wonderful world opening up for her. Beautifully written and just a lovely story, you will fall in love with Eleanor too.
Eleanor Oliphant is the definition of ‘socially awkward.’ Think Sheldon from Big Bang Theory minus his little band of nerds and giant ego. Awkward!!! She is never sure if people are being sarcastic or serious. She gives a lot of unsolicited advice, thinking she is being helpful when she’s really being obnoxious, then she mentally (and occasionally orally) notes what she perceives as others poor manners or stupidity in said person. She’s hilarious without meaning to be.
From the very beginning, the reader knows that things are not 100% right for Eleanor. She has serious “Mummy Issues” (love the British Speak, mummy issues sound so much more sophisticated than mommy issues!), her coworkers blatantly make fun of her, she has no friends, she relies on vodka to get her through the weekend and has these mysterious scars on her face which are significant enough to cause people to stare.
On a very rare night out, she goes to a concert and completely falls for one of the musicians without even so much as exchanging a single word with him.
Eleanor begins a journey of physical self improvement in order to prep herself to meet this musician. Her journey includes a hilarious visit to a waxing salon, a couple extremely uncomfortable “practice” social outings and a few lol worthy shopping trips.
In addition to the outward improvements, Eleanor decides to open herself to new experiences so she will be ready when she meets her musician in person. Her newfound openness comes in handy when, after years of loneliness, she accidentally stumbles into two new unlikely friendships.
Although there are many truly amusing parts in this story, it also has a very serious side, particularly when the reader learns of Eleanor’s past and the origins of her scars. Author, Gail Honeyman, slowly doles out the details of Eleanor’s heartbreaking backstory leaving the reader 100% on Team Eleanor. I, for one, was cheering her on and celebrating her growth as though she were my real life friend.
WHAT I LOVED
Since I gave this book 5 Stars, and I rarely ever do, clearly I loved EVERYTHING about it. But here are just a few specific things which I loved:
The whole thing with Bobbie Brown makeup. She was soooooo clueless that she had no idea who Bobbie Brown is and at one point she ‘questioned Ms Brown’s work ethic’ since Bobbie never seemed to be at her makeup counter.
I LOVED Eleanor’s observations on other people and how she often missed the point so significantly and then she thought everyone but her was crazy. Super entertaining.
I loved how Eleanor just spoke her mind without concern for social convention. That was funny enough, but reading others reactions to her comment was the icing on the cake. Some people laughed and found her refreshing, others thought she was crazy or rude.
The story itself was just so darn good!!! In my opinion, a good book in this genre is one which makes the reader laugh, think deeply, feel significant empathy for the characters and stays with the reader long after completing the story. For me, this book did that, and more. I was so sad to see it end. I miss her already.