Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

By Gail Honeyman

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: May 9, 2017

Published by Viking

My Rating: four-stars

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

Eleanor Oliphant is, well, a bit of an oddball–albeit a loveable one. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking…and that, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, a tendency to wear the same clothes year after year), means that Eleanor has become a bit of a loner. But she thinks that nothing really important is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding perplexing social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, Glen’s Vodka, and phone chats with “Mummy.”

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and sweet 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 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 repairing her own damaged one.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky woman whose social misunderstandings, mental health issues, and unabashed wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes that the only way to survive in the real world is to open her heart to friendship–and that there’s always room there for love, too…”

I had been hearing great things about this book for months and really wanted to read it, so I was delighted to receive an advance copy from the publisher. By the time I picked it up, I didn’t remember what it was supposed to be about, and didn’t read the synopsis from my ARC before reading. I wanted to go into the book ‘fresh’.

While I was initially very interested in Eleanor, I admit that it took about 75-100 pages for me to really warm up to the book. Eleanor was very different from the people around her (mostly coworkers, as she seemed to have no friends and no family), but there were aspects of her life or personality with which I identified.

From the start, it was clear that Eleanor’s relationship with her mother was unusual, and it was interesting to see that explored more as the book went on. There were some family secrets that were hidden away and I did hope that more information would be revealed by the end of the book.

The more I read, the more I enjoyed the book. I believe the film rights have been acquired by Reese Witherspoon’s company, and I am very interested to see how this will turn out as a movie. Recommended.

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