Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey.

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“Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove)—there’s a new curmudgeon to love.” --Booklist (starred review)

"Eleanor Oliphant is a truly original literary creation: funny, touching, and unpredictable. Her journey out of dark shadows is absolutely gripping." --Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

"Deft, compassionate and deeply moving--Honeyman's debut will have you rooting for Eleanor with every turning page." --Paula McClain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun


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.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the 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. 


Advance Galley Reviews

What an amazing book! I quickly fell in love with the quirky, intelligent and very lonely Eleanor Oliphant in the first chapter. This well written story is funny, witty, tender and heart-wrenching. I had originally thought that Eleanor's social awkwardness was possibly due to Aspergers, but as the author drops little crumbs about Eleanor's past you begin to realize that she is wearing her solitary lifestyle and her adherence to routine as a kind of armor, protecting herself from hurt and enabling her to survive the horrors of her childhood. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has you cheering for her early on and leaves you wanting more. I can't wait to for Gail Honeyman's next book and to see this onscreen!

I wasn't real hopeful when I started this book. It seemed to be a humorous yet sad book about an annoying, difficult to love, frustrating woman. And it certainly is some of that. But I grew to champion Eleanor, a woman who was abused by her mother, dealt with extreme tragedy and just decided that she was better off alone. As a result she never learned to properly interact with people and found she had more productive interactions with a bottle. With the help of a newly found and surprising new friend she learns to take control of her life and face the tragedies of her life to emerge a new and know worthy person. I loved her much as I loved Backman's Ove and Stout's Britt Marie. Don't give up on Eleanor Oliphant!

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".

I loved this story. It was a sad story that turns into a feel good story. Aren't those always great? My only problem was the main character; I didn't really like her. She was quirky and broken and unloved which is always a good combination for a main character. Unfortunately I think she was missing the endearing part of her character. That's the part that makes you able to overlook all the flaws. I didn't find her endearing at all. I found her lack of social skills bordering on obtuse. Ultimately I guess I found her a bit unbelievable. But, I do think this is a story completely worth the time to read - it's a great story that will stick with you for a long time. My thanks to the publisher for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Eleanor oliphant is completely fine, much in the same way that my grandmother brings up the fact that her "...grandkids don't visit often enough... but it's fine," when everything is "fine", it's never good enough. I read Eleanor's story during an 11- hour road trip so I was able to finish it while rarely needing to put it down and it was a wonderful way to pass the time. I enjoyed seeing the world through her perspective. From the early chapters, she communicates so literally that her self-awareness and understanding of social skills is almost like someone who is experiencing culture shock. And in a way, she is. She has made a decision to experience new things in hopes that there is an Eleanor-sized hole in someone's life that she's meant to fit into. Instead, she meets some wonderfully unpretentious people and begins to understand that life is what you make it. And she's surprised by how gratifying it is to do nice things for other people. At the same time, having friends can mean painful losses, just as well as triumphant rescues. Eleanor has found herself a lovely and unlikely friend. But that's not the beautiful part. The beautiful part is that she's learning how to be a friend to others. And that skill will serve her well because she is a lovely person and I'm going to miss her on my 11 -hour trip home. I'd love to read more.

I was immediately drawn and captured by the strange world of Eleanor Oliphant. She comes from a background of disregard and painful abuse. She is a heroine in so many ways. She fights her demons and makes friends through her journey to find herself. I wI'll definitely be seeking more books from this author. Her quirky style is simply magical.

Unfortunately, this book was not for me. Several pages in I was nowhere near connecting with the novel. It just did not capture my attention. Did not finish - time is too precious to force through an un-engaging read! I do hope that others will enjoy this novel though.

 


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