Book Review | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine #20booksofsummer22

Book fourteen of my summer reading challenge and one that has been on my to read shelf for a long long time.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Gail Honeyman

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 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 kinds 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 repair her own profoundly damaged one. 

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…

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I find I am usually way behind on reading the books with all the hype, mostly because I am a bit of a sceptic and because I just have so many other books to get to, but a friend said I had to read it and sent me her copy, so I decided to give it a go. I have to say I don’t think I could have appreciated this book properly if I had read it when it first came out because now I can emphasise with Eleanor a lot more, being that I live by myself and have had moments where I realise that I haven’t spoken to anyone in a while, and what impact that has on you mentally.

I loved Eleanor that she was very straightforward and that she didn’t pretend with people, I sometimes feel like I should take a leaf out of her book and just be unapologetically myself. I liked that even though there were a lot of painful things in her past that she doesn’t use that to make excuses for herself, which so many people would, and that it only comes out organically as she is working on herself.

I quite enjoyed her slight obsession with the man she deems as “husband material”, it kind of reminded me of being a teenager and having that first all-consuming crush and the ridiculous things that we can talk ourselves into in the name of love. I think Elenor is a great mirror in certain ways, she shows the extremes of how we treat ourselves and others and how small acts can make such a big difference.

Her friendship with Raymond was joyful, it kind of sneaks up on her which I liked, and he is such a lovely character. He is a little bit of an outsider, like Eleanor, but also very personable and kind, and I was so happy that Eleanor finds someone to help her navigate certain situations or to laugh with her when things don’t go to plan.

I only had one thing that stood out to me that I found I didn’t enjoy, which is going to be quite hard to elaborate on, but there is a bit of a reveal at the end and I have to say I think it was a bit abrupt and not really in-keeping with how the rest of the story unfolded. It kind of annoyed me, to be honest, and I feel like there might have been a better way to integrate it so that it wasn’t quite so jarring.

Overall I really enjoyed getting to know Eleanor and going on this journey with her, this is a lovely and at times comical story of self-discovery and friendship and one that I think most will enjoy.

4 thoughts on “Book Review | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine #20booksofsummer22”

  1. Just rereading it now. First time I don’t think I was that surprised by reveal. Reading again it is not like ever said phone rings. So I think did not need the reveal and would have been better showing more clearly how her ‘Mum’s voice’ came to her.

    First time read I could not get the hype. I thought it did not quite ring true. Picking up some different things second time round. But still annoys me that Eleanor is not portrayed as being cleverer. Know she has had sheltered life but think she would be vaguely aware of more modern life then is like ordering at bar would have got from Archers. Think would work out Bobby Briwn brand not a person,

    Liked by 1 person

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