What a wonderful, wonderful read. I can see why this book is so widely praised, simply wonderful! Another five star buddy read with Beth @ Bibliobeth.
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?
Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, or is she:
“It often feels as if I’m not here, that I’m a figment of my own imagination.”
Those don’t sound like the words of someone who is completely fine. When you see how Eleanor lives in the present day, living independently and holding down a full-time job, you would indeed think she is fine, but loneliness can be crippling, and Eleanor lives the loneliest life. She makes several references throughout the earlier part of the novel that allude to a dark past; these references have you dying to know Eleanor’s secrets.
As you learn more about Eleanor, you cannot help but love her quirky, without trying to be, mannerisms. She’s direct to the point of rudeness, but rather than dislike her, her ways actually endear you to her, because you can see it’s not coming from a place of malice.
The humour in this novel, it was fantastic – real ‘laugh out loud’ humour! It was a great way of endearing the reader to Eleanor as often her humour was unintentional, for example, questioning why she needs to give her name in Starbucks when ordering coffee, and when told why, proceeding to give her full name. These simple things that we don’t even think about were entirely alien to Eleanor, and so while it was funny, it also showed how isolated she is because she’s never been to a coffee house with a friend before – and she’s thirty!
I highly urge you all to read this wonderful piece of fiction and journey with Eleanor through her bad days and good days. She’ll have you laughing out loud, but there are times when your heart will break for her, literally falls to pieces at her pain. The things we take for granted in life, such as human kindness and human contact, are things Eleanor does not, and so while we laugh at her ways, I loved the way Honeyman took the time to unpick Eleanor’s character and allow us to completely understand her. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a brilliant read from the first page to the very last, made all the better by some really unexpected ‘reveals.’ I cannot recommend this book enough; truly a heart-warming read, so well-written, a great piece of fiction.