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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fiction (2017)
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, 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, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she'll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is 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 your heart.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published May 9, 2017

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About the author

Gail Honeyman

6 books11.8k followers
Gail Honeyman wrote her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, while working a full-time job, and it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress. She has also been awarded the Scottish Book Trust's Next Chapter Award 2014, was longlisted for BBC Radio 4's Opening Lines, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She lives in Glasgow.

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5 stars
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Profile Image for Deanna .
687 reviews12.5k followers
May 2, 2018
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...


I won an advanced copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you!

To be honest, I'm not sure if this book would have been on my radar if I hadn't won it. Although the great reviews may have pulled me in. At any rate, I am so happy I read it.


Just like it says in the title of the book, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine....well she thinks she is. She is honestly not worried that she may be missing out on anything. She is content with her life.

Eleanor is a little bit....odd. She's very intelligent and well-spoken with impeccable grammar (thanks to Mummy) but she lacks the ability to filter what she says and therefore she will tell you exactly what she's thinking. This can lead to very awkward situations.

Eleanor is comfortable with her routines. She's worked at the same job for nine years. She starts work at 8:30, at lunch she buys a newspaper which she reads from cover to cover and then does the crossword. She finishes out her day, leaving work at 5:30. Eleanor listens to the Archers as she makes a simple dinner (usually pasta and salad - one pan one plate), watches TV or reads for a little while then off to bed at ten. Her weekday routine only changes on Wednesday when she talks with "Mummy" for ten minutes.

Weekends are a bit different. After work Friday she picks up pizza, wine and two big bottles of Vodka for the weekend. She drinks the vodka over the weekend.....in a state where she's neither drunk nor sober, waiting for Monday to come. No one comes over and she doesn't go anywhere to visit. She sometimes wonders if she's a figment of her own imagination.

But she's fine with it. She's fine. There's nothing missing, she doesn't need anyone else. Well that was what she told herself. But then it happens...

"He was light and heat. He blazed. Everything he came into contact with would be changed. I sat forward on my seat, edged closer. At last. I found him"

Now Eleanor is on a mission. First she decides a make-over is in order....and where she starts is both shocking and hilarious. I really want to write about what happened but I think I would spoil a very funny moment for many readers.

Things don't go exactly as planned.

When her computer at work stops working she meets Raymond from IT. An easy-going guy, Raymond is intrigued by Eleanor, but she's just not interested. She's busy trying to re-create herself for the man of her dreams. But after work one day Eleanor and Raymond come across a man who has fallen on the sidewalk. Together they help the man, Sammy and so begins a friendship along with the start of many changes in Eleanor's life.

The story is told from Eleanor's point of view. We go along for the ride as she navigates her way through her life, learning to stand up for herself. But it won't be easy. Secrets and memories that have been tucked away for many years can be painful to remember.

When you have trouble with social skills I can see how it would be easier to refrain from situations where things could go wrong so fast..... It would be easier being alone. As I mentioned there are many funny moments throughout the book. I really like how the author wrote these parts. I never felt like I was laughing AT Eleanor but at the things she said or the situations she ended up in. However, there are also many sad and painful moments. Times where I felt terrible for Eleanor.

Some of the funniest parts came out of nowhere - the phone doesn't ring often but if telemarketers call Eleanor whispers "I know where you live" and hangs up. Often it was what she would be saying to herself that was funny.

An incredible read that had me bouncing from one emotion to the next. The author did a tremendous job bringing these wonderfully unique characters to life.

It's hard to believe this is the author's debut novel.

There are so many words that can be used to describe this novel - hilarious , unique, heartwarming, heartbreaking, charming, hopeful, inspiring, and COMPLETELY unforgettable.

Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
June 28, 2017
5 Stars.
“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” but after finishing this novel, I am not.

I was completely unprepared for the life of Eleanor Oliphant and that of her ‘Mummy.” To be frank, I was ill-equipped to deal with it, much like Eleanor. And it wrecked me.

At thirty years-old, Eleanor Oliphant is alone in this world. She always has been, actually. In and out of foster care since she was a little girl, she has never been touched by anyone in a loving way and doesn’t even know what that would feel like, but that’s ok. All of her physical needs are met, you see and she has never had any emotional needs.

Seeing as she doesn’t have any friends, Eleanor is quiet and socially awkward. Everyone thinks she is fairly strange, if you must to know. Not that she minds since people’s behavior makes absolutely no sense to her. She is good at being alone and she does not feel sorry for herself. Not even when ‘Mummy’ calls and viciously tells her daughter off and berates her for being being “naughty.” Eleanor, however wears a coat of armor and does her best to let her mother’s words bounce off of her.

Eleanor has no aspirations though she has done accounting at an office for the last 9 years. Every day of her life is the same and she would be nothing without routine. One night, all of that changes rather abruptly. After work, she and a coworker named Raymond whom she just met and who happens to be leaving the office at the same time as her, find themselves in the exact right place at the right time. Both Eleanor and Raymond see a man (named Samuel), go down on the sidewalk and they go have a look see and discover that he needs an ambulance. This incident ends up tying the three together and becomes one of the most significant in Eleanor Oliphant’s life. It forges a bond of friendship between them, which is something Eleanor has never experienced before in all her thirty years.

During this time, Eleanor also ends up finding him. The man she has been waiting for all of her life. The man she is meant to be with. Now she just has to get him to notice her. In trying to do so, Eleanor grows bolder and more confident. She also learns to lean on and open herself up to her new friends.

Throughout the book, Eleanor slowly experiences a metamorphosis, one that often makes you smile, laugh and of course, cry. She is damaged and quirky but oh so special. I loved her dearly. For more reasons than one. I identified with Eleanor Oliphant you see, and for that, I was unprepared. I did say that this book wrecked me right?! I get why Eleanor is Completely Fine. She had no choice. Unfortunately, Eleanor’s ‘Mummy’ is someone I recognized fairly well. When I heard her voice (in a Scottish accent) on the audiobook, and the way she spoke to her daughter, my chest got tight and my throat closed up and I sobbed. Unlike Eleanor's “Mummy” however, mine happens to be British instead of Scottish - though the accents are close, thus I therefore guess that listening to the audiobook had an even more profound effect on me. I’ve had similar conversations, in case it wasn’t obvious and I felt Eleanor’s pain more deeply as it related to her ‘Mummy’, for at certain times in my life, it mirrored my own. All that aside however, Eleanor does not go quietly into the dark goodnight (and neither did I, for what it’s worth).

Though it affected me greatly, “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” is without a doubt one of the most incredible, profound, and beautifully well written novels I have absorbed in ages. It wrecked me in the best and worst ways possible. In case it’s not obvious, it will stay with me for a long time. I think I came across it on purpose as both Eleanor Oliphant and I needed something from it and I think we were both lucky enough to receive it.

Published on Goodreads and Amazon on 6.26.17.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
November 9, 2017
Eleanor Oliphant is completely 100% fine. She goes to her office job five days a week and then treats herself to a frozen pizza and a bottle of vodka on a weekend. She lives alone and doesn't have any friends, but that's okay. She's doing real well, thank you very much.

Except maybe she isn't.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine caught me completely unawares. I'll be honest - I picked it up because it got some buzz and the author is British, but it actually turned out to be one of those perfectly-balanced sad/funny books. Maybe like some combination of The Rosie Project, Me Before You, Finding Audrey and A Man Called Ove. It takes a serious, traumatic issue and weaves it into a warm, funny and, yes, sometimes sad tale.

I read a lot of books and many characters come and go. Some are well-developed and interesting, others less so. But on a rare occasion I find one of those truly memorable characters that will stay with me a long time. Eleanor is one of them. She is socially clueless in a way that puts my teen self to shame. She is literal to a degree that everyone finds odd. It's painful to witness and yet so, so endearing.

I think I like this book so much because it is actually really sad, but never manipulative. On a surface level, it's a very funny novel about a socially-inept twenty-nine year-old woman. Her attempts to become "normal" and integrate into society by having manicures and waxes are sources of hilarity. But it is very sad. It's sad when we see her coworkers talking about her, but Eleanor is oblivious to their scorn. It's sad how alone in life she is. It's sad when she "falls in love" with an idea of a person.

It's not a romantic book and I'm glad. There are hints that the central relationship will eventually develop into romance, but this is really a book about Eleanor. I am thankful that the author didn't cure Eleanor and lead her out of the darkness by having her fall in love. Being happy and achieving greater self-worth should, in my opinion, never be linked to romance.

I really enjoyed it. It's great to find a book so packed full of emotion without seeming overly-sentimental.

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Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 9, 2020

Need a good read for a bad day? Here's a Booktube Video all about it!!
The Written Review

If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn't spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.
Ohhh, I could not wish for a more perfect book.

Eleanor Oliphant is an office manager at a company. She's worked there for years and yet...she's never fit in.

The other girls at the office like to whisper and giggle - oftentimes at Eleanor - and the rest of them just think she's plain weird.
These days, loneliness is the new cancer – a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way.
But all that changes when she meets Raymond, an IT guy at the office.

They certainly don't hit it off, but they do have a connection of sorts.

Raymond manages to get a peek at what's underneath Eleanor's shell...and he might just be able to pull her back before she really goes too far.
I have been waiting for death all my life. I do not mean that I actively wish to die, just that I do not really want to be alive.
Whew. After reading this one - I feel like I need to sleep for a week!

Gail Honeyman expertly weaves a story steeped with humor and love.

Eleanor was such an off-the-wall character - never over the top, but always just enough to be an absolute delight.
LOL could go and take a running jump. I wasn’t made for illiteracy; it simply didn’t come naturally.
I adored Raymond's gentle prying and Eleanor's slow acceptance of other people.

This story is just so perfect - everyone needs to pick up their copy - Right. Now.
In the end, what matters is this: I survived.

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Profile Image for Kat.
270 reviews80k followers
November 30, 2020
I’m really surprised that I (mostly) enjoyed this in the end. The plot itself is a somewhat dull slice of life, but the titular character really picks up the slack. Eleanor Oliphant is a good example of a well-written unlikeable character. She is aloof, judgemental, uncomfortably awkward, and I hated her until I didn’t.

Have some bullet points:
- This is a story about loneliness, which definitely hits hard during the current lockdown/pandemic where many of us are forced to be isolated in one way or another. Would I recommend reading it right this second? Depends on if you want to lay awake at 2AM thinking about how few people you've spoken to in person for the past nine months...

- I’m glad there was an emphasis placed on friendship between Eleanor and Raymond, because I was afraid up until the very last second that the author was going to throw in a completely unnecessary romance and ruin their whole thing.

- I'm really all for stories where people get out of their comfort zones & try new things. That's a pretty minor part of everything that happens, but it was fun to read about nonetheless.

- I have some mixed feelings about the way the book shifts tone throughout. The first 35% (or so) operates as a lighthearted, “quirky” contemporary before hurtling headfirst into the heavy shit. There were some elements of Eleanor’s past trauma & present mental health that I felt weren’t handled carefully (it sometimes seemed that Gail Honeyman just wanted to pile it on her character without adequately figuring how to conclude everything correctly, so she just dropped talking about some of the stuff that she didn’t want to deal with writing) (oh also, cw: depression, alcoholism, ptsd, murder of a child, emotional/physical abuse, rape, attempted suicide)

- I’m irked by the fact that this author had Eleanor become more likeable (partially) through her appearance. It’s literally like one giant rom-com makeover scene where the uncool nerd takes her glasses off, only for people to realize she’s been pretty the whole time! There’s a difference, to me, between self-care and how Eleanor’s moves towards looking more conventionally attractive make people *suddenly* care for her company.

In the end, this book had some heart and was weirdly comforting to read, despite my above issues. But, I don't think I would agree with the overwhelming adoration it receives, just like I think that the story is 'completely fine' in the same way that Eleanor Oliphant is (or rather, is not).
Profile Image for Julie G.
895 reviews2,920 followers
May 14, 2017
No. No. No. No. No. No.

All apologies to my lovely Goodreads friends who have liked (or loved) this book, but it's not for me.

And it's sad. . . because I wanted it, I waited for it, and I was finally able to start it. It's Mother's Day, and my family handed me bath salts and my new book and told me to go for it. They know I'm just crazy enough to read an entire book in one bath, and I was ready to do it.

And I prepared my bath, and I began reading, and I was (very quickly) almost in physical pain. I don't mean to be rude to the author; I know how hard it is to write a novel and get it published, but this would not have made it past my eyes, if she had handed it to me.

Again, ALL APOLOGIES, but this is Mother's Day, and you have one annoyed mother on your hands. You have ruined my bath, and in doing so, you have released the Kraken!!

MUST the reader be invited in to experience every one of Eleanor's bowel movements and meals? MUST we suffer through every not-interesting-in-the-least observation on life?

And, how must we EVER believe that a woman this bizarre would be able to function in the world and/or experience a friendship or a romance?

According to Eleanor, she has "white contours of scar tissue that slither across my right cheek." Here's where I just about threw the book. Explain. No, seriously. Explain how scar tissue slithers across a face. Do you mean as you are speaking or making funny faces? Did you attend Hogwarts? Are you a Slytherin? Help, please!

Also. . . somehow. . . Eleanor hangs up phones quietly. But, it's 2017, and we all just use that little button now. There's no loud, there's no quiet, there's just that one button. Explain.

Oh, and when she hangs up the phone with her Mummy (choke and gag), "It was only when the air went dead that I noticed I'd been crying."

How does the air go dead? No, I'm not kidding. Please, explain what that sounds like, what it looks like. How does the air go dead?

If you want to read about a WAY more adorable person with Asperger's. . . go find Don Tillman. If you want to read about a WAY more delightful curmudgeon, go find Olive Kitteridge.

I saved myself from drowning by stopping at page 50.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
August 18, 2023
Tragic comedies with WTF endings with broken characters should be my all time favorite genre.

I read this book 2 years ago and I wanted to reread some parts to make myself remember how ultra amazing read should be so I can make my further choices wiser.

Eleanor has intimacy issues, having hard time to make friends, spending weekends with frozen pizza and vodka to reward herself. The storyline seems like a typical New Yorker’s story but it’s not. She seems all right but she is not. She is in deep pain and her weekly talks with her mother doesn’t help to gather her strength and make some changes with her life until one day she meets IT guy from her office named Raymond. Their slow-burn friendship, helping each other in different parts of life, confessing their secrets make them inseparable.

This book is smart, entertaining, heartbreaking, confusing, shocking, twisty, edgy, tragic, funny. It gives you all kinds of different feelings at the same time and with its remarkable but no surprising ending, you just take a long breath and tell yourself: “Wow! This one is special! Really unique and unforgettable!”

This is not romance and second chance book. This is self-discovery, grief, learning to forgive yourself and trusting people, friendship book which broke my heart but then healed it with its promising, heartwarming and beautiful conclusion. I think this book will keep its place at my top ten best reads that I’ve ever had.

Well done! It’s pleasure to visit my memory lane and read again this incredible book and good to see one of my favorite quirky, weird but also likeable character one more time.

Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,112 followers
April 25, 2019
4.5! What an incredible story!

“These days, loneliness is the new cancer - a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted.”

Eleanor’s story hit me so much harder than I expected it to. She is thirty years old, has worked at the same job since she left university, speaks on the phone to mummy once a week and drinks two litres of vodka every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is fine.

One day, Eleanor and a colleague help assist an elderly man who’d fallen over on the street. From there we follow Eleanor and Raymond’s budding friendship, and we realise just how ‘not fine’ Eleanor truly is.

“I’d tried so hard, but something about me just didn’t fit. There was, it seemed, no Eleanor-shaped social hole for me to slot into.”

Eleanor is painfully relatable, her awkwardness at social encounters, reliance on alcohol and the burying of all feelings and past grievances, is something I feel on a personal level. It’s as if her story came to me at just the right time in my life. It was heartbreaking, honest and powerful.

“I was thirty years old, I realised, and I had never walked hand in hand with anyone. No one had ever rubbed my tired shoulders, or stroked my face.”

All of us have felt alone at some point in our lives, Eleanor’s story serves as a reminder that we are a lot more alike than we realise. A bit of kindness can go such a long way, friendship can truly be life saving.
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
315 reviews2,418 followers
March 6, 2018

Thank you, Eleanor Oliphant. Thank you for picking me up out of my reading slump. Thank you for being so funny, so sad, so smart, so blunt. Thank you for being a literary character that will live forever in the hearts of (most) anyone that reads you.

Oh, and a big thank you for enriching my own personal vocab. My Kindle dictionary has never had such a workout. What a nice perk!! Effortless writing that flows naturally fast, even though Eleanor O prefers to use crossword type clues as actual everyday language. She is a piece of work! And I adore her.

I didn’t want this book to end. No, seriously did not want it to end, so why did I devour it as fast as ice cream melting at a picnic? Because it is that good! My black, black heart doesn't always have to read about murders and mysteries. I love a feel good story as much as the next guy. I just need it to be the right kind of writing (GOOD, NOT cheesy). The right kind of character (layered, quirky, UNIQUE). I have to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of A MAN CALLED OVE. Ove did not strike me as a real person. He felt artificial and a bit contrived. Made up. Eleanor O, on the other hand, is real.

This is the right kind of everything. Thank you, Ms. Honeyman, for writing it. I actually feel sad for other books that try so hard to achieve the big feels and don't even come close to Eleanor Oliphant.

I've meant to read this for at least a year now and finally was nudged into it by my bookclub IRL! If this is on your TBR and you haven't read it yet, ahhhhhhh, I envy you. Don't wait a minute longer. Do it now!
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,215 reviews9,893 followers
July 22, 2018
Here is a novel at the exact room temperature everyone likes, not too cold, not to hot, just right, it’s like Goldilocks finding the right bed, everybody jumps in and goes right off to sleep, no one has a bad word to say, the Guardian loved it, the Irish Times said it “hits the accessible literary sweet spot”, Costa Book Prize, Reece Witherspoon to star in the movie, five stars rain down upon Eleanor Oliphant on Goodreads until she can no longer be seen, buried beneath tons of billowy love. If The Beatles could reform they would issue a single immediately called “All You Need is Eleanor Oliphant”.

Our story is a simple one. Eleanor is the poster girl for loneliness and social isolation caused by having a frightful childhood resulting in a truly traumatic event (no spoiler : a house fire). Eleanor is 30 and has zero friends, less than zero family, a poorly paid job, doesn’t speak to her co-workers, doesn’t even have a cat or a dog or a budgie or a little worm as a pet. Not even a little tiny worm!

Eleanor has a ridiculously pompous conversational style. So unfamiliar with normal human interaction is Eleanor that she has not realised that most people do not want to be spoken to as if they are in a posh drawing room in the 1950s. It’s like she has lived without tv or radio or newspapers or magazines or anything.

Example number one :

“Let us retire to an inn or public house, Raymond – a quiet one – and please, allow me to buy you some beer in recompense for this wasted evening.”

Example two :

“You don’t need to stay long – just show face; have a cup of tea, eat a sausage roll – you know the drill.” Said Raymond.
“Well I hope they’ve at least got a high meat content and friable pastry, “ I said.

Example three: when she gets a cat (oops, spoiler!) she says :

I will assume the mantle of care… This creature will be looked after assiduously.

Example four :

“You’re a good worker, Eleanor,” he said. “How long has it been now – eight years?”
“Nine,” I said.
“Nine years, and you’ve never had a day off sick, never used all your annual leave. That’s dedication, you know. It’s not easy to find these days.”
“It’s not dedication, “ I said. “I simply have a very robust constitution and no one to go on holiday with.”

Yes, it’s quite funny, but now, come on Gail Honeyman, no one is as loopy or brusque or unaware as that. Even Eleanor would know her remark was inappropriate, embarrassing, too much information – even if she meant it to be funny, which she didn’t, because, like any Vulcan, she has no sense of humour. She is the source of the humour but never understands why anyone is laughing. It did occur to me that Eleanor was somewhere on the autism spectrum but that is never alluded to in the novel. Has Gail Honeyman created an Asperger Syndrome character without realising it or is she just playing Eleanor for some pretty easy laughs?

As well as not knowing how real people talk to each other, Eleanor has no knowledge of popular culture. She has not heard of Laurel and Hardy (“the film was about a fat, clever man and a thin, stupid man who’d joined the Foreign Legion. They were patently unsuited to it”) ; and yet she namedrops J D Salinger and the Unabomber. She doesn’t know what parking meters are :

“I’ll need to run, Eleanor – the car’s on the meter and you know what those wardens are like if you go a minute over.”
I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about but I let it pass.

As you see there are some nice comedy moments. Here’s another favourite : we all know about product placement on tv and in movies. How about reverse-product placement? This is where you aggressively badmouth a specific item quite gratuitously. Eleanor is observing someone else’s basket of purchases in a supermarket :

Eggs, bacon, orange juice and Nurofen tablets. I had to stop myself from leaning forward and explaining that he was wasting his money – this branded non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug was in fact ibuprofen 200 mg, the generic version of which was readily available for sale at perhaps one-quarter of the price.

For 70% of the time this novel is gentle comedy, of the sort you can find in sitcoms like Not Going Out or The Vicar of Dibley if the Vicar had a brain injury. But then begins the process of Eleanor thawing out and assuming a more “normal” shape. The great thing about this novel now emerges. This novel believes in ordinary human kindness as the thing which can save us, and not romantic love, and that is a great message which is very rarely heard.

But the normalising of Eleanor has some disturbing aspects. Quite often it’s like a rerun of Georgy Girl, the folksy hit by The Seekers from 1966.

Hey there, Georgy girl
Swingin' down the street so fancy-free
Nobody you meet could ever see the loneliness there - inside you
Hey there, Georgy girl
Look at all the boyfriends you don’t get
Never had a real one yet, just look at the clothes you wear
You're always window shopping but never stopping to buy
Just shed those dowdy feathers and fly - a little bit

And the dowdy feathers are indeed shed – cue humorous sketches involving bikini waxes, new hairdos and new clothes. “But Miss Oliphant… you’re beautiful!” is almost said by at least two characters.

Well. I absolutely don’t want to kick this novel down the cellar steps and have it look back up at me all begrimed with cobwebs and sing "Where is Love?" through big blobby tears. I love the gospel of ordinary human kindness here, even though it’s wrapped up in some fairly disgraceful looksism and evangelical therapyspeak towards the end. I argued myself up down and sideways about Eleanor Oliphant and finally copped out with a rueful three stars. This is a nice novel. I should be nice to it.

Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.7k followers
December 6, 2018
As you can deduce from the title, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. Or, so she thinks. But, by most people’s standards, I’d say not.

When you first meet her, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmingly sad for Eleanor. Maybe even to pity her a bit. Eleanor is simply existing in a lonely and somber life without friends or family. And let’s be honest, at times her bluntness is sort of off-putting.

Eleanor is just fine living by her own self-imposed routine. The hour-long lunch spent with the same sandwich and the daily crossword puzzle. The nightly pesto dinner recipe. The Friday treat of frozen pizza and wine. And the vodka, lots and lots of vodka—her coping mechanism for the long and lonesome weekends.

The epitome of socially awkward, Eleanor is oblivious to social cues and norms, uninhibited by a filter, quite literal, and extremely frugal. At thirty, she’s set with her one and only job—no ambition for anything better or more challenging on the horizon.

Laying eyes on “husband material” sparks her desire for a metamorphosis of sorts. She figures landing her soulmate is going to require some work—new hair, clothes and maybe even a little makeup to hide her facial scarring. After all, being with a musician requires a certain poise.

There are scars on my heart, just as thick, as disfiguring as those on my face. I know they're there. I hope some undamaged tissue remains, a patch through with love can come in and flow out. I hope.

It’s actually a happenstance run-in with one of her coworkers and the ensuing friendship that inspires the most change in Eleanor—her outlook on life and interactions with people. It’s comical that Raymond doesn’t seem fazed by Eleanor’s stunted social skills. In fact, his mellow attitude and companionship go a long way to smooth her edges.

When things don’t go to plan, Eleanor is forced to stare down her truth. To succumb to the reality that everyone has problems and no feeling is insurmountable. That eventually with time—not vodka—things will get better. It's the why behind it all that broke my heart.

Gail Honeyman balances the heavy—and there’s a lot here, so be prepared—with humor and hope; taking readers on a journey right along with Eleanor. My own feelings skewing from odd to charmed. Quirky Eleanor managed to chip off a piece of my heart, stowing it away in her trusty shopper for safekeeping.

With a pair of pom-poms in hand, I stood on the sidelines cheering Eleanor on as she discovered what life is truly about—living. Connecting with others. Taking those much-needed pauses to drink in her surroundings. And the potential for more in each and every aspect of life. From broken soul to a woman on a mission to live life, Eleanor's is an inspiring story, one I know I’m better for reading.

And naturally, the part that squeezed the awww out of me—the healing powers of Glen. =^..^=
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.7k followers
December 17, 2021
I feel like this book should be titled Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Rude.

Here I thought I was going to be reading a story about a lovable curmudgeon whose heart slowly thaws from the sweet people around her. But that's not Eleanor. Instead, she's mean, rude, and petty. In fact, she's dreadful in all the ways that would make a character unlikable. And since the story is written from her perspective, it was really hard to enjoy it.

We spend so much time in her head as she passes judgement on every single person crossing her way, commenting on their fashion styles, their looks, how they choose to spend their time, and so much more. She's also disparaging when people attempt to make conversations with her, but then she laments how she has no contact with anyone. She doesn't tip and is quick to blame others when she doesn't get the service she wants, even when she's the one who misunderstands.

She talks like she's the queen of holier-than-thou, with big words and obscure references. I understand she's well-read, but where could she possibly have picked up such a pompous style of conversation? And yet she doesn't understand the meaning of "pulled a late night" or how much to tip. I find it hard to believe that she hasn't come across that information in her readings, but she has come across Latin phrases and obscure references.

And herein lies the crux of the issue: Eleanor doesn't ring true to me as a person. She knows both a lot and very little about the same subject. When she talks about emotions and loneliness, she's surprisingly insightful, yet she doesn't realize that they apply to her. She judges alcoholics harshly, but doesn't make the connection to her own alcohol issue. She works in finance, but doesn't know the difference between laptops, desktops, and tablets. She falls for a guy based entirely on his looks, yet goes on about how she hopes he will love her for who she is.

This book does contain some touching and uplifting passages, mostly around Sammy, Raymond, and his mother. These supporting characters warm up their scenes with their sweetness and kind regard for Eleanor. And I found the mysteries around what happened to Eleanor during her younger years to be interesting, although I did see the smallish twist coming.

Since this story completely revolves around Eleanor, finding her character to be frustrating really hampered my ability to enjoy it. However, my experience is an outlier and so many others loved the character and the book, so please don't rule it out just based on my experience.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,509 reviews29.5k followers
June 27, 2017
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

I'll admit, when I started reading Gail Honeyman's debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine , I thought about issuing a moratorium on quirky characters who can't seem to pick up social cues or are oblivious to how people usually behave when interacting with peers, coworkers, those who provide service, and others. Obviously these are colorful characters to write about—it seems as if the literary world is full of them.

But the more time I spent with Eleanor Oliphant, I realized that her behavior was more the result of circumstance than will, nurture if you will, rather than nature. And then I thought about how boring the world might be if everyone acted the way they were expected to, said the right things, and never expressed their true feelings. (Lord knows if I couldn't roll my eyes, my head might explode.)

Eleanor lives by her routines. She eats the same meals, wears the same clothes, has her weekly chat with Mummy, and has her weekend rituals, which include frozen pizza and enough vodka to keep her pleasantly drunk all weekend. For the most part, she eschews interactions with her coworkers, whom she mostly thinks are daft and lazy. They make fun of her both behind her back and in front of her, and she doesn't really care.

"I do not light up a room when I walk into it. No one longs to see me or hear my voice. I do not feel sorry for myself, not in the least. These are simply statements of fact."

Two things happen which throw her routines off-kilter. First, while attending a concert with a coworker, she spots a handsome musician and is quickly smitten. She has decided that he is the one for her, and starts to ready herself for their first encounter, during which she knows he'll sweep her off her feet and they'll live happily ever after. She needs a makeover and new clothes, and she starts doing research on her soon-to-be-beloved.

Meanwhile, one afternoon she and Raymond, the IT guy from her office, whom she considers poorly groomed and a bit bumbling, save the life of an elderly man who falls in front of them. Saving Sammy's life suddenly gives Eleanor two unexpected relationships, friendships, that she has never had before. She still acts the way she believes to be appropriate, and says things that most wouldn't, but she begins liking the feeling of belonging, of companionship, which she never realized she wanted.

"Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that there's something very liberating about it, once you realize that you don't need anyone, you can take care of yourself. That's the thing: it's best just to take care of yourself. You can't protect other people, however hard you try. You try, and you fail, and your world collapses around you, burns down to ashes."

Eleanor's social awkwardness, her lack of a filter, her inability to grasp exactly how people expect her to behave, actually hides a great deal of secret pain, pain and memories even she has hidden. And when she is forced to start recognizing just what a burden she has carried for so much of her life, and who was responsible, it threatens to break her. Suddenly she realizes she may need to do something she never has—depend on others, and reveal things about herself she's always kept hidden, in order to move forward. If she wants to.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is really a special book. Even if some of Eleanor's behaviors are similar to other quirky characters you might have seen, she is totally unique, and while off-putting, just absolutely wonderful. You both marvel and are saddened by the burdens she has carried, and how she copes with them. I found myself becoming protective of her, worrying there would come an instant where someone made a total fool out of her (with her own help, of course).

Honeyman really did a terrific job with Eleanor. Even as she began letting down her guard, Honeyman kept her character consistent, but never let her become unsympathetic. While this is certainly Eleanor's story, I liked the other characters as well, although they certainly didn't get as much attention. I thought the ending was a little too pat for my taste, but I really enjoyed this overall, and don't think I'll be forgetting Eleanor or her story anytime soon.

God bless the people who challenge our notions of "appropriate" and "normal," because they are what keeps our world interesting!

Profile Image for Always Pouting.
575 reviews761 followers
March 2, 2022
Eleanor Oliphant lives a fairly secluded life due to her lack of social graces and crippling self esteem and anxiety issues. She works at a graphic design firm in the finance department and spends the rest of her time at home, usually drinking. Her social life consists of a phone call with her mummy every week. Then one day she goes to a concert, for which she won tickets in a raffle, and falls in love at first sight with a musician. Eleanor decides to make some changes to herself as part of a plan to get her dream man. Meanwhile a new hire in the IT department of her company, Raymond, strikes up a friendship with Eleanor. As things change for Eleanor she is forced to confront the past and confront the real reason for her recent desire for more.

I really enjoyed this, oh man Eleanor is so quirky and endearing. Her inner monologue was excellent and I could really relate to her. I had an especially visceral reaction when because come on who hasn't had a moment like that. I've had my fair share of moments when I try really hard and then just feel embarrassed and stupid about everything I've done. Eleanor just felt so real and human. The only thing that annoyed me was the ending when because it felt unnecessary and I didn't think we needed a plot twist like it kind of ruined all her conversations with her mom for me a little bit. Everything else was really great though, definitely 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,195 reviews3,032 followers
October 13, 2021
I had no idea what I was in for before I read this book. I loved every minute of it and the characters of Eleanor and Raymond. There were so many kind minor characters, even if they didn't understand Eleanor, they cared about her. Getting to see the world through her eyes was so very funny and also sad. She made me laugh so many times and it was a good laugh. Then there were the deepest of heartaches for the way a parent can treat their children. Just so much emotion from this book and it felt so real to me. I actually did understand a lot about Eleanor and why she did things the way she did them.

Published May 9th 2017
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,780 reviews14.2k followers
May 14, 2017
What an absolutely fantastic character Eleanor is, a character that grew on me the more I read. She has had a scarred childhood, though we don't learn exactly what happened until later in the story, she wears the evidence on her face. She remembers little from that time only knows she was burned in a fire. Raised in a series of group homes, given an apartment by social services who still check on her though she is now thirty. She has few social skills, is very matter of fact, has no friends, few filters and has a schedule that she keeps to, a job she likes and insists she is fine. Until a crush with a musician and an IT guy named Raymond derails her schedule and her life.

Why did I give this five stars? It is a first book, with nary a misstep, an assured book with amazing writing and character development. Plus it is difficult to take a book with so few characters, and not only make it interesting enough to keep the reader immersed, but to let us see the way Eleanor changes and grows throughout the story. There is much humor, there is also sadness and I came to embrace this character in all her strangeness, loved when she figured things out and came to terms with her past. There are a few places where the author could have gone overboard on sweetness but she kept true to the character of Eleanor and just managed to stay on the border, without crossing over. This is a book I will remember, it was that good and meaningful, in my opinion.

Looking forward to great things from this new author, she is a true talent.
Thanks to my friend Esil who told me to grab this one.
ARC from publisher.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
October 5, 2018
eleanor oliphant may be completely fine but i, on the other hand, am not. sigh.

ugh. i feel so bad for not really enjoying this. this was the debut heard around the world, the debut that won numerous awards. and i saw so many people rave about this nonstop. but i think that was where i went wrong to begin with. the book blurb did not sound interesting to me in the least, so i probably shouldnt have picked it up to read just because everyone else was.

next, eleanor drove me up the wall. im talking about driving me absolutely bananas. and i am definitely one of those people who if they dont like the character, then the book will be a massive struggle. which was the case here. especially because this story is almost completely character driven. theres not a whole lot going on the with the plot, so what drives most people to finish the book is desperately wanting to know ‘what happened to eleanor?’ and i did too, but not because i cared about eleanor as a character. only because i have an incessant need to know everything. lol.

overall, i understood the message of the story, and whilst i agree that it was a good one in theory, it didnt personally impact me as much as i would have liked. just too many things got in the way, i suppose. but yay for everyone else who loved this - you all are much more patient and understanding than i am!

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,983 followers
June 16, 2019
Eleanor Oliphant is NOT completely fine!

Well, at least not at first!

This book is a fantastic character study. The journey with quirky Eleanor through the past and present is bizarre at times, thought-provoking at others. But, I found it to be engaging no matter what. And, while it is mainly about Eleanor, there are a few other interesting characters met along the way as well. Such a fun ride!

Also, I thought from the start of the book it was just going to be a general humor-fiction sort of book. But, there are some very dark and twisted elements that are encountered along the way that put this book in a class/genre all by itself. I truly don't think I have ever seen a book that combines dark mystery and humor quite the same way that this book does.

You know, when I sat down to write this, I thought I was going to go 4 stars. But, in writing the paragraphs above and thinking about the uniqueness of the story and how engaged I was with Eleanor's journey, I am going to have to up it to 5 stars.

Give this one a try! While you may recognize some of the elements, I think in the end, as a whole, it is a totally new experience.
Profile Image for Angela M .
1,308 reviews2,192 followers
December 28, 2017
At first it’s easy to think that Eleanor is just a quirky social misfit with no friends and no social life and she is, but I soon found out that there is so much more to Eleanor and so much more to learn about her. It’s a lonely life she leads and she says everything is fine but we learn eventually that it isn’t, and that life hasn’t ever been fine. While hints of what happened to her are slowly divulged, we never really find out everything until the end . It’s heartbreaking to learn why she drowns herself in alcohol and fantasizes about a guy in a band, wanting a guy to love her, scars and all, the ones on the outside and those in her heart.

Although, there is some humor to be found here, this really is such a profoundly sad story. I found it very difficult to read at times, especially hearing the disturbing things that she tells us her mother says to her in their weekly conversations. She’s ridiculed and laughed at by her coworkers except for the seemingly odd Raymond, the IT guy with whom she becomes friends. Suddenly Eleanor Is living parts of the life that her past had taken away from her. She slowly gets to know a little of the world that she had hidden herself from for so many years behind the walls of her apartment and large quantities of vodka. I’m almost at a loss for anything further to say, except that I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book. I didn’t get to it right away because I really thought it was just another quirky book and I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s about how people can impact each other’s lives in unbearably awful ways and how others rise to save them. A fantastic debut that is not to be missed.
Profile Image for Justin.
284 reviews2,299 followers
November 8, 2017
What an emotional roller coaster, this book! I laughed. I thought about crying. I was angry. I was delighted. I was empathetic. I was completely fine, sometimes.

What started out as a book that could have easily been called A Woman Called Eleanor ended up being far superior to that Ove stuff. There were legit moments that made me laugh, and the book turned in directions that were hard to get through, assuming you have a heart inside your chest that beats about 65bpm as mine does. A heart that feels emotion and pumps blood at the same time. Have you one of those? Are you human?

This could have easily been just a three-star, that was nice, thanks, see ya later kind of book. It wasn’t. It was a cut above that because it had memorable characters and situations and relationships and conditions and events and circumstances that made it a more powerful book than I anticipated. The last third of the book was heavy.

This thing took me all over the place emotionally... and physically. I mean I guess I physically took this book all over the place since I read it on my phone and also listened to the audiobook. Whatever. I didn’t read the synopsis. I just liked the cover and people I like liked the book so I just went for it. I’m glad I did. I should go for more things in life. Take more risks. That’s what life is all about. Taking risks and reading books without knowing too much about them.

Life is also about other things, too. Some of those other life things can be found in the pages of this book. Others can’t be found in any book because they just have to be experienced in, you know, real life. Experiences are good.

So here’s another book for me to recommend. If I recommend anything, it’s worth your time. I don’t recommend anything unless I’m 100% sure everyone in the entire world will agree with me. So here I am, confidently recommending this book to you all because I know you will thoroughly enjoy it much the same way I did, and perhaps even more, but definitely not less. If that’s the case, don’t blame me. It’s not my fault.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews595 followers
November 12, 2019
Update.....I found a copy in my notes from last year ---

Here is the review I wrote right after I read it. I realize - almost a year later I can still remember so much about this story: ELEANOR is a terrific character ... and this book is great!!! Even GROWS on you!!!

Eleanor Oliphant, almost 30 years old, is one of those odd characters we think we may have seen before in our books --- lonely - awkward - lacking social skills. She doesn't have filters when it comes to saying what she's thinking. Yet....Eleanor Oliphant has a
uniqueness that only she can claim.

Eleanor goes to the same office job - M-F 8:30 to 5:30 every day. She works as a finance clerk. She takes an hour lunch break. We know her weekday supper routines and her weekend menu. Weekends are frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

Eleanor's life changes after she meets Raymond, a co-worker IT guy. His sloppy -unkempt style doesn't bother Eleanor-she never had any friends to begin with and she wasn't a fashion queen herself.

Raymond and Eleanor help a man, Sammy, who took a fall -- and the three of them become allies for each other. They begin to unleash from their individual isolated lives
and bond together in a heartwarming friendship.
This story really makes you realize how valuable one friend can be. Eleanor had been stuck in ways she didn't even have the eyes to see - let alone do anything about it.
But it's Raymond -his goodness- that ultimately helps Eleanor mend her broken heart....by helping her face areas of her painful childhood she has avoided.

The story is broken down into three sections:.
Good Days
Bad Days
Better Days

Tender- touching - and plenty of heart.

This is another book that I read last year… The book was given to me last summer. I wrote a review but I have no idea where it is.
I do remember enjoying it!! I still have the book in my house. I'm walking now, I can research the review or look through the book later but it was quirky and enjoyable.......NEVER FOUND IT THROUGH GR's .... but I had a copy!
Profile Image for Debbie.
454 reviews2,887 followers
July 4, 2017
I dare you not to think Elephant when you hear this title. This writer is so clever! We've got the first part of elephant at the beginning of her first name, and the rest of the elephant in the last name. No, of course this book is not about elephants, but the writer sometimes plays with words--and that alone is a selling point for me. Maybe it's sort of like subliminal advertising, except the author isn't trying to sell us elephants. Eleanor Oliphant. Elephant elephant elephant!

I can get all analytical and talk about how Eleanor--the fact that half of her face is badly scarred and that no one knows (or dares to ask) how she got that way—is the elephant in the room. (In fact, the author makes a pun once, referring to an Oliphant in the room.) And like an elephant, Eleanor Oliphant indeed fills the room, even though she would prefer that no one see her, that everyone leave her alone. The world is too scary to her and she is the poster child for anti-social behavior. In one venture she is completely delusional--she thinks her crush on a famous person will lead to marriage. She is a riot, but she has no idea she is. It's also true that she's sad and feels isolated and unlovable. Formal, literal, awkward, and very very funny in her skewed world view, are also part of her package. Routines, crossword puzzles, and vodka are her mainstays. I usually like oddball characters; Eleanor is definitely one of my favorites. Her character is so well-drawn, I'll remember her I'm sure.

This book sure isn't all laughs and all light by any means. This is also a dark book. Something awful happened to Eleanor when she was a kid, and throughout the book we get hints about what it is. The ending had a very clever surprise that made me shake my head in wonder. I loved it.

The middle of the book dragged a little for me, which made me call it a 4-star read at first. (I just had to change my rating to 5 stars, though--the book is just too damn good and I can't get Eleanor out of my head.) Eleanor has a hilarious adventure in a salon early on (one I just have to reread), and there's a lot of other funny energy. Absurd situations described in language that hopped, gave me the feeling that I was on an amusement ride. The author seemed “on”, jazzed up, and I couldn’t get off the ride even if I wanted to. Of course, I wanted the book to keep up that level of hilarity, and it didn't. Still, Eleanor was relentlessly fascinating, both her public, regular side (that’s a poor choice of words because there is nothing regular about Eleanor) and her private, dark side.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly. I'm shocked that this is a debut--it's so well-written, and the lovable, weird heroine is so so vivid. I'll be in line for the author's next book, although this book will be a hard act to follow.
Profile Image for Fran.
661 reviews630 followers
April 24, 2017
Eleanor Oliphant is a thirty year old accounts receivable clerk who has a humdrum existence. She calls herself a self contained entity, eating lunch alone while doing crossword puzzles and spending every weekend alone with bottles of vodka. She feels freakish and ugly since she has scar tissue across her right cheek, a result of third degree burns suffered during childhood. She speaks to Mummy by phone every Wednesday. Eleanor lives with the only item to have survived her childhood, her parrot plant, Polly. Having been raised from age ten in the foster care system, she has no appropriate social skills. Society has kept her fed, clothed and educated, but unloved.

Mummy's phone calls are hurtful and abusive. Mummy tells Eleanor that she's let people down, can't be trusted and that her facial scars show the past living on her face. Despite this criticism, she embarks upon a mission to find a boyfriend or husband. This will keep Mummy happy. Eleanor decides to change her outward appearance to attract dreamy rock musician, Johnnie Lomond.

Raymond,a co-worker from the IT department of her office, starts a budding friendship with Eleanor after both of them assist an accident victim. Through Raymond's kindness and ministrations, Eleanor's inner emotions and feelings slowly start to emerge. She revisits her childhood memories with help from Raymond, her first real friend. Confronting her past will enable her to change the trajectory of her life.

Eleanor Oliphant had a tumultous, mindboggling upbringing. Her journey is one of hope for a better future, a future fought for and won by facing her demons and disassociating herself with the perpetrator(s) of abuse. "Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman is an excellent debut novel.

Thank you Viking-Pamela Dorman Books and First To Read for the opportunity to read and review "Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine".
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 18 books1,592 followers
February 11, 2021
Wow! What a great read. Highly recommend. The first couple of tasks for a novelist when starting a book (among others) is to first establish the Fictive Dream and second endear the reader to the character. This author starts the book out with the character telling us how mundane her life is. Yikes. What a huge risk. But the voice of the character is so superb, the voice actually picks the story up on its back and carries it for the length of the book. This is not an easy task. I loved the voice. What the author also does so well is relate to the reader (this is what Stephan King does so well, his trademark that allows him to draw readers from across all genres), the reader can relate to similar instances where he/she has witnessed someone socially challenged trying to navigate a difficult world. I was stunned at the craft level, how the author could make me laugh at comments or situations that were both sad and at the same time humorous. In A Man Called Ov the author was able to do something similar.
In the story, Raymond’s character is a peach of a guy the way he carries his love of Eleanor and for the way he keeps coming back time and again after he’s been socially dismissed. The story Arc centers around Eleanor’s love for a rock star who has no idea she even exists. Eleanor’s lack of realty going after her true love is like watching a slow-motion car accident only this accident has five cars and a gasoline truck involved. The waxing scene early on is a hoot.
If you haven’t read this one, drop what you’re doing and pick it up, you won’t be disappointed.
David Putnam author of the Bruno Johnson series.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
August 1, 2021
(2.5) I really wanted to like this but considering it took me 4 years to actually finish it... it wasn't for me. Darker than I expected with a story that had good moments but overall left me uninterested.
Profile Image for Jaline.
444 reviews1,647 followers
May 20, 2018
Eleanor Oliphant is one of the heroines of literature that I am sure I will remember always. She is brilliant, yet socially awkward. At the age of 10 she experienced a trauma that she never received any help with to sort through it. So, she repressed her memories and more importantly, she repressed her emotions. By the age of 30, she was so good at repression that it completely froze parts of her being and the underlying, unacknowledged fear of any of her repressions getting out were the root cause of her lack of social skills.

When dealing with intellectual matters, she is formidable; her vocabulary and the facts at her fingertips are beyond many people’s comprehension. Yet even as she grew and matured, some parts of her remained in the stunted, closed-in world of her 10-year-old self.

Despite everything she had experienced, with both physical scars and those on her psyche, not once does Eleanor feel self-pity or get caught up in, “I am a victim”. She simply does not see herself that way and it is one of the reasons I admire her as a character to be honoured and respected.

At her workplace, she meets the new IT guy Raymond, and her critique of him is definitely offhand and dismissive. Although they do eventually become friends, Eleanor has her sights set on someone else – far more glamourous, exciting, and sophisticated.

When her world takes a nose dive, she is wise enough to know it is because of her own poor decisions based on influences from her past, and she takes brave measures to turn her life around with help from her friend Raymond. Her long and slow recovery is a testament to the human soul’s willingness to strive and thrive against all odds.

I found this book to be a compelling read, funny in places, deadly serious in other places, but always, always buoyed by Eleanor’s determination and resilience. It was rewarding to watch her friendship with Raymond grow, and his support of her is inspiring.

I loved this book; it is yet another amazing debut novel by an author I hope to read more of in the future. This one is going straight to my Favourites shelf, and I know that if ever I need inspiration, all I need do is think about Eleanor Oliphant!
Profile Image for Lindsay L.
678 reviews1,323 followers
July 14, 2017
4.5 stars! Oh Eleanor, I desperately wanted to reach into this story and hug you (even though a hug would be extremely awkward for you) and welcome your quirky self into my life!

Eleanor’s journey took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Eleanor is obliviously socially awkward. She had me laughing out loud on one page and then holding back tears while breaking my heart on the next. Eleanor Oliphant is one of the most remarkable characters I have ever ‘met’! Eleanor’s inner thoughts (and often her outspoken words) had me giggling throughout every chapter. Her relationship with her mother and memories of her childhood had me cringing and shaking my head in disbelief.

While reading this book, I couldn’t help comparing it to the quirkiness of The Rosie Project which I absolutely loved. I just couldn’t help but smile and melt at Eleanor’s rationalizations for each of her thoughts and actions. She is quite a woman!

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
383 reviews1,767 followers
October 4, 2017
4.5 stars!

I just loved Eleanor! She is a loner and avoids social interactions and lives in isolation. She speaks out without thinking, to whatever pops in her mind. She has never received hugs, or held hands and has never felt loved, she never received anything when she was sad to cheer her up. Never received balloons and received a balloon from Raymond with Sponge Bob on it and it was so special to her. She never heard of Sponge Bob.

She had an awful childhood with a scar on her face and bruises would show up all over her body. She had an emotional traumatic past. She was bought up in foster homes and then gets herself her own apartment from a social worker.

Eleanor is now thirty years old and works in a office. She drinks a lot of vodka and spends time on the weekends talking to her Mummy on the telephone. She drinks her vodka so she can forget her traumatic past, all what she remembers is a fire. She then goes through counseling and things come together and she remembers everything that
happened in her traumatic past

She then meets Raymond and things start to change for her, she finally meets a friend. She is in love with a famous musician. That is how quirky she is, she actually wants a relationship with him. Her relationship with Raymond builds and it works for her. She then goes through counseling and things come together and she remembers everything that happened in her traumatic past. She is changing and turns out being very brave. She is so humorous. I just loved Eleanor.

My Thoughts

This book really made me feel so many emotions!! I laughed, I cried, tears running down my face. I cheered for Eleanor near the end. I loved this book. It really made me feel! I just loved Eleanor.

It was a slow burn but the book started building suspense when I read about her scar on her face and had to find out why. Then it got me turning the pages to find out what happened. I was so surprised when I found out what happened. It was so sad and heartbreaking what she went through. While I was reading this I thought it was a whole different genre in what I usually read, it wasn't a thriller but it was the mystery of what happened that turned this into a page turner. Once all the pieces came together, I fell in love with this book. I can understand why it was a little slow, you needed to really get to know Eleanor. Once I started loving Eleanor that is when it started getting really good. I then couldn't put it down. Eleanor will make you laugh, she will make you cry, and she will have you cheering her on. If you love a book that will make you feel, this is the one for you!! I loved it.

This book was an awesome character driven novel. I just loved Eleanor's character.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,207 reviews19.7k followers
May 5, 2018
I loved this book. It took a while, but I fell in love with it. I finished reading it whilst I was at a cafe and realised how much of a trance I was in when I looked up and noticed my surroundings.

This is the story of Eleanor Oliphant, a 30 year old woman who's suffered a lot. The tone of the book is quiet, steady and slowly reveals her life to the reader. You can sense something traumatic has happened, but you're unsure, because Eleanor is unsure. Slowly, it is uncovered, and thus this is the journey we follow.

In between all of that, we look at her life. We're inside her mind and perceive her world the way that she sees it, with humorous and witty observations about pretty much everything that catches her eye. You laugh, but also feel this sense of sadness for her, because she's alone most of the time. But she's fine, or so she thinks.

The story looks at the concept of loneliness extremely well. It hurts to read, but the reality of the matter is, loneliness is not healthy as we all know. This is different to solitude, but the need to connect with another human being is strong and innate in this book, and if not met, can cause damage to ones psyche. It was painful to follow Eleanor on this realisation that she was alone. Has been for most of her life. So how does she fix this? How does she battle the demons that've been buried for so long?

This book is a beautifully, written journey I became fixated on. There's pain, but growth and absolute attachment to Eleanor. I couldn't get enough of it.
Profile Image for Tucker.
385 reviews113 followers
May 7, 2022
I’ve heard a lot of good things about “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, “ but I must admit I was somewhat reluctant to read it. I’ve recently read several novels about social misfits like Eleanor and felt like I needed a break from that type of character. Also, Gail Honeyman is a debut author whose work was only discovered through a writing competition. (How good could she be?) I decided to give Eleanor half an hour, but after only ten minutes of reading I was totally hooked and my reluctance and skepticism were thrown out the window. Despite the tremendous amount of pain Eleanor has experienced, the book is funny, poignant, charming, touching, joyful, and an absolute wonder. Finish whatever you’re currently reading and without delay start “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.” All those rave reviews are right - Gail Honeyman is an exceptional author and this is a novel not to be missed.

Thank you to Penguin Viking and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.
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