Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman


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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Summary

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman“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.”

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Review

Now that I’m here writing this, I feel like I don’t even need to write a review.  (Except I do, because it was that good, and I want to write nice things about it!)  This is the book that has been everywhere lately, and honestly, I half started it out of obligation.  But from the very start I was hooked.

I listened to Eleanor on audiobook, which I highly recommend.  (I have a bit of a neck problem that can make reading a physical book hard sometimes, so I have been venturing into audiobooks a bit more recently, and I will definitely be doing a post on it sometime in the near future.)

The audiobook is narrated by Cathleen McCarron, and has also gotten rave reviews.  Her accents are flawlessly done, which I think really added to the atmosphere as the book is set in Glasgow.  Also, the voice of Mummy will send shivers down your spine.  *

“I suppose one of the reasons we’re all able to continue to exist for our allotted span in this green and blue vale of tears is that there is always, however remote it might seem, the possibility of change.”

From the very beginning, I didn’t get Eleanor — although she made me laugh with her relatable and very quotable observations, she was rude and at times uncomfortable to hear about.  I didn’t like Raymond all that much either, if we’re being honest — Eleanor’s description wasn’t very flattering.

However, as is said at one point, it really takes much longer than ten seconds to recognize a person for who they are, and the novel proves it well.  By the end, you will be in love with the characters, I guarantee it.

Y’all, this novel is so pure.  At its heart it deals with loneliness, and regardless of Eleanor’s quirks and eccentricities, she is understood by anyone who has ever felt alone.  I can’t stress enough how well-done this story is.  Eleanor is as unreliable a narrator as they come, yet portrays an accurate view of the world around her, in which the reader notices things Eleanor can’t.

I will say that it gets a bit dark at points, and although it is done beautifully and truthfully, personally I had a bit of a hard time with some of the subject matter and would advise those who are sensitive to mental health topics to be sure they are in the right mindset to read this one.  It is absolutely worth it and nothing to balk at — just a warning be mindful of the timing.

All the beautiful realizations and lovely friendships in this novel make me very glad I felt peer-pressured into reading it.  Jump on the bandwagon.

* P.S. I may or may not be newly obsessed with libro.fm.  (I have only listened to one book using it, so time will tell and I will definitely have more updates.)  I have wanted to do audiobooks for a long time now, but just couldn’t bring myself to subscribe to Audible since it’s owned by Amazon.  Then, my favorite bookstore in the whole wide world (The Bookshelf) alerted me to the fact that you can buy audiobooks and support the indie bookstore of your choice using libro.fm.  Life-changing.  **

** Not an ad, I swear.

Bonus: Real Texts from my Real Friend

A screenshot of iPhone text messages discussing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Love,

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This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Grace Pursel

      Thank you so much, Olivia!! 🙂

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