Rummanah Aasi
Description: Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully time-tabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.       Then 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.

Review: I wanted to pick up Gail Honeyman's debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, when journals began to make it a readalike suggestion for A Man Called Ove which I read and enjoyed over the summer. This is one of the rare times when a readalike suggestion is actually accurate. Like A Man Called Ove, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has the knack to make you laugh and cry all at the same moment.
  Eleanor Oliphant has built routine in her utterly solitary life that mostly works. During the week, she works, eats pizza, and drinks booze. While this may seem banal and repetitive it is Eleanor's inner monologue that is cranky, hilarious, deadpan, incredibly observant, and irresistible that makes this book a pleasure to read. Eleanor Oliphant has something to say about everything- from commuting on the train, getting a manicure, and associating getting a makeover in a story with surgery. I loved Eleanor's voice from the start. Sure, she can be a curmudgeon but I suspected there was serious trauma that occurred in her life given the various clues sprinkled throughout the book and the chilling phone calls with her mother which caused her to act this way.
  While her social awkwardness makes her the butt of jokes for her colleagues and alienates herself, Eleanor's life begins to change when she is genuinely befriended by Raymond, a lanky, easy going guy from her IT department. It is through her friendship with Raymond that we get to see Eleanor's vulnerable side and her craving for human contact (not just physically). Eleanor attempts to change her solitary life in order to pursue a romantic crush on a local musician. Though the crush is unrealistic, unrequited, and heartbreaking to watch, it finally tips Eleanor over to seek help for her mental illness and trauma as she realizes she's never had anyone to care for her in life. We watch her dangerously collect painkillers and tries to poison herself with alcohol. Thankfully she does seek help with Raymond's help. We also discover what happened in her childhood that shaped her this way. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking in equal measure and I would definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are some strong language and allusions to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in the book. Recommended for mature teens and adults.

If you like this book try: A Man Called Ove by Frederick Brackman,
6 Responses
  1. This sounds like a lovely book and I am adding it to my list!

  2. I had wondered about this book, now I really want to read it, though I must I was really irritated with A Man Called Ove for about the first half of that book then I settled in and enjoyed it. We also discussed it in book club.

    I wanted to put this book on radar if you didn't see my review of it already. I think every high school library should have it. Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution

  3. Kindlemom Says:

    I love books that you can connect with one an emotional level. not necessarily because you know what they are going through but because the writing is just so good you connect with the characters and feels for them. It really is rare but so beautiful when it happens.

  4. I am always a fan of books with characters who have an attitude. I think I would really like this. I will add it to my ever growing list!

  5. Okay, I'm adding this to my wishlist. I read A Man Called Ove only because you recommended it and loved it so if this is comparable, I'm sure I'll like it too.

  6. Jess Says:

    The plot sounds really interesting. It reminds me of the series by Japanese author Kazumi Yumoto - where characters of different ages with different life stories get together and bring happiness to each other's life. It's always heart warming to read

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