Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Book Review
“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.” - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman*
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. For certain definitions of fine. If fine means that she has a job, and a flat, and food in her fridge. Tethered to reality by the routine of her 9-5 job as an accounting clerk at a design firm in London, Eleanor lives each day in the same manner as the last.
Monday through Friday, Eleanor wakes up, gets dressed, puts on her Velcro shoes, and heads to the office. She comes home eats pasta with pesto, listens to a radio program, and goes to bed. She never misses her weekly, Wednesday evening chat with Mummy or takes a holiday or goes out to dinner with a friend. On the weekends, she drinks vodka, cooks frozen pizza, and daydreams about the handsome, local musician she hopes will save her from her dark existence until Monday comes around again. Her tragic past haunts her but never disrupts her routine.
Until, one day, she finds herself coming to the aid of a burly older gentleman in a tomato-red sweater alongside the office IT guy, Raymond. Together, they develop a friendship with the pensioner, Sammy, and his family. For the first time since childhood, Eleanor finds satisfaction rather than distress in rhythm of social interaction.
Suddenly, there is more to life than accounts receivable, frozen pizza, and trips to the corner store for more vodka. There are friends, and parties, and shoes with heels. These things help pass the time until she can finally meet her musician and start her life with him. Eleanor is completely fine.
Until she’s not. Until musician turns out to not be a very nice man at all. Until her past catches up with her and she has to confront all the truths she’s been hiding from herself.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was an absolute joy to read. Eleanor is both incredibly intelligent and incredibly sheltered at the same time. Her innocence and quirkiness will grab you from the start. You won’t be able to help loving her in the way love watching a toddler learning to walk. Her stumbles and social faux pas are endearing and sweet. Her vulnerability and honesty are captivating.
With two twists, one I saw come, and one I did not, this book will keep you hooked. If you are in need of a light-hearted read with a touch of drama and sticky,sweet ending, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the novel for you.
Pick it up now and head to the beach.
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