TITLE: Elanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
AUTHOR: Gale Honeyman
TRIGGER WARNING: Death, purposely set house fire, abusive mother, suicidal thoughts.
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: HarpercollinsNZ sent this to me in exchange for an honest review!
Smart, warm, uplifting, 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 her heart
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. 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 kind of friends who rescue each other 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.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, is the word heartwarming. I genuinely feel like this book had one of the most uplifting endings that just felt so right.
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine follows Eleanor, a 30 year old woman who lives what she thinks to be a normal life. She goes to work, she goes home, and she drinks Vodka on the weekend! But then she sees a man who she thinks will be a perfect match, and begins planning her meeting with him, all while getting a new friend and slowly beginning to learn what family and friendship are.
Originally, and honestly, until the last 150 pages, I felt like this book wasn’t for me. I found Eleanor strange and I was uninterested in the plot, but slowly, she grew on me and I had to know what was going to happen, I had to know that her ending would be okay. I do hate to say that the beginning of the book is what really kept it from getting a higher rating but as this was a debut novel, i thought it was really good.
Gail writes with beautiful precision, never going into too much detail and never skimming over the important stuff and I personally felt like the story unraveled at a great pace. My favourite part of the book was the friendship that blossomed between Raymond and Eleanor and how, with it, Eleanor began to see that how she was abused and a child, wasn’t normal.
Personally I think this book deals with some dark topics and that really makes it a book that isn’t for everyone, but to me, this book dealt with these topics gracefully. Eleanor does sadly, nearly commit suicide at one point, but Gail shows us a character I had never personally seen before, one dealing with traumas that were locked away in her mind, things she had repressed for many years, and she did it so wonderfully that I never saw one of the plot twists coming!
Overall I think the writing and character developments were the best parts of this story, and while I personally wasn’t interested in the book till closer till the end, I am so glad I read this novel.
I would recommend this book to people who want to read something that might be a bit sad, but has an uplifting ending, or for people who want to read about s character dealing with childhood trauma.
Personally, I’ll be keeping a close eye out to see what Gail Honeyman writes next!
Until next time,