Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – Book Review
By Belle Bisous
The book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman features the main character Eleanor, who leads a very simple life. She has no friends to speak of, she wears the same outfits every day, she buys two bottles of vodka to drink at the weekend and eats the same food at lunchtime during weekdays. Quite often, this strange character is the subject of ridicule amongst her peers and as a person, she is aloof and impossible to read.
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One day, Eleanor and a work colleague stumble across an elderly gentleman in need of help. After some reluctance, Eleanor steps in to assist the gentleman and by doing so, opens doors that she never thought possible. But is Eleanor ready for her carefully timetabled world to come crashing down?
My Thoughts On This Book
When I first picked up Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, I saw that it was the Costa First Novel Book Award Winner 2017 and decided to give it a try. To be honest, the blurb on the back of the book didn’t seem terribly exciting and the front cover was non-descript but it seemed a little different to the books that I usually read so I decided to give it a try. After all, it was an award-winning story!
The book itself takes a little perseverance to get into. The first time, I partially read the book and put it down again as I didn’t enjoy the story and found Eleanor difficult to warm to. However, after some persuasion from a stranger on a Facebook group, I decided to try and read the book again, and I’m really glad that I did.
Once you get into the story, the characters are both thought-provoking and powerful. Eleanor justifies her loneliness by looking down her nose at the people around her but at the same time, this is easy for the reader to recognise. Throughout the whole entire book, I was rooting for a character that in reality, I would probably have disliked if she were standing in front of me in real life. It made me think about the way that I perceive other people and consider my own behaviour. Eleanor pushed people away because she was frightened of getting close to them, so there were a lot of themes to consider.
As a character, Eleanor is quirky and at some points laugh out loud funny, although she has no intention of being so. As the reader manoeuvres their way through the story, it becomes easier to warm to the character and hope that she finds the happiness that she so desperately deserves. This takes me to Eleanor’s friend Raymond, an overweight colleague who makes it his business to take Eleanor under his wing, whether she wants him to or not.
Very quickly, their friendship blossoms and from this, it leads to so many new situations for Eleanor. However, for someone who has mental health issues, this is not without problems in itself. The book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman tackles some of the darker issues of isolation, loneliness and mental health but in a way that is sensitive and respectful.
By the end of the book, I was gripped. I really wanted things to work out for Eleanor, and I am not going to spoil the ending but there are many issues that she has to address throughout the story.
For me, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman was a wonderful book and certainly one that I will be picking up for my local book club. For those seeking a powerful and thought-provoking story, this is the perfect read for you.
I picked up Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman from Asda on a 2 for £7 deal. However, the book is also available on Amazon. You can find the buy links below.
– Belle Bisous
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